Sexual harassment case against PU V-C: Two years and a dozen meetings later, probe panel not set up
The PU faculty member who had levelled the harassment charges against Grover had first complained to the then Chancellor, Hamid Ansari, alleging that the V-C had misbehaved with her when she had gone to his office to congratulate him on the extension of his tenure in April 2015.Updated: Feb 18, 2018 13:50 IST
It has been over two years since a sexual harassment complaint was filed against the Panjab University vice chancellor (V-C), Prof Arun Kumar Grover, but even after a dozen senate and syndicate meetings of the university, a committee to probe the matter has not been finalised.
At yet another senate meeting held on Saturday to finalise names for the reconstituted sexual harassment committee, members demanded an independent committee and wanted a member of the National commission for Women (NCW) to be a part of it.
The syndicate had proposed two names as substitutes for Meenakshi Anand Chaudhary, including Navraj Sandhu, additional chief secretary to the government of Haryana, cooperation department and ACS, vigilance department; and Jyoti Arora, principal secretary to government of Haryana, higher education and technical education. The syndicate had also proposed that the senior-most woman professor of PU and a current PU Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH) chairperson be a part of the panel.
The senators, however, objected to the proposal of including two IAS officers and said academicians or a member of a sexual harassment committee of a different university be included in the panel. Seven out of 17 members at the meeting suggested that a proposal be sent to the Chancellor for an independent committee to resolve this issue.
Professor Ronki Ram was chairing the meeting when the PUCASH issue was taken up.
The PU faculty member who had levelled the harassment charges against Grover said, “It was in December that senate meeting held in 2015 when it was decided that the Chancellor will constitute a committee comprising members who would have no connection with Chandigarh or Panjab University but this decision has never been conveyed to the Chancellor, till date. This is the height of injustice and the society is witnessing it. It doesn’t matter if the V-C does not sit through the meeting because there are people who work for him.”
After the National Commission for Women (NCW) came to know about the case the Chancellor was made to intervene, several committees were formed and reconstituted and a special syndicate meeting was held, for the third time, questioning the PUCASH status on the case.
However, even though just four months are left for the V-C’s tenure to end, the issue remains unresolved.
The PU faculty member had first complained to the then Chancellor, Hamid Ansari, alleging that the V-C had misbehaved with her when she had gone to his office to congratulate him on the extension of his tenure on April 15, 2015.
The complaint, taken up then by a committee headed by Professor Ronki Ram, had given a clean chit to the V-C on April 17, 2015.
Later, when the complaint had reached the NCW, a fact-finding committee had been formed by the HRD ministry (MHRD).