Haunted by a four-year-old criminal case against him,Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Parimal Trivedi on Tuesday made himself available to a police team and recorded his statements in the case.
Trivedi,who had so far avoided facing the police,said he was ready to cooperate with the law and the investigation agency in the case.
Fifty-year-old Trivedi,who joined GU in June 2006 and is due to retire on June 28 this year,had been accused of passing casteist remarks against a colleague and facing the prospect of arrest following a direction by the Gujarat High Court on January 19 to the city police to complete the investigation within a fortnight and submit an action taken report before February 21,when the case comes up for hearing again.
Following the HC order,SC/ST Cell of the Ahmedabad city police probing the case,issued summons to Trivedi asking him to present himself before it on January 23 or face arrest.
Trivedi refused to divulge the contents of his statements to the police.
He also refused to reply when asked if he would consider stepping down from his post. But his colleagues in the university said there was no question of him resigning since the charges were bailable.
The case under Sections 3(1) and (10) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,1989,was filed against Trivedi on May 3,2008,by Pankaj Shrimali,head of the history department at L&C Mehta Arts College.
Shrimali,who belongs to scheduled caste,had accused Trivedi of passing casteist remarks against him when he asked Trivedi of the reasons for removing him as the deputy coordinator of the universitys central assessment committee. Shrimali had alleged the remarks were made in presence of Arts Faculty dean Pradeep Prajapati,LD Arts College principal Mahipalsinh Chavda,Trivedis personal secretary Mukesh Kumar Mankad and head of psychology department Bipin Contractor.
Trivedi,aware of the seriousness of the case,moved HC seeking quashing of the FIR but Justice H N Devani dismissed his petition on June 19,2008,and asked the police to go ahead with the investigation.
The police later filed an A summary report before the metropolitan magistrate on July 17,2008,saying enough evidence was not available against the accused.
While three witnesses had turned hostile,only Prajapati deposed before the police supporting the accusation. Prajapati was subsequently suspended by the university in another case but was later on reinstated through an order of a tribunal.
However,on objections from Shrimali,the metropolitan magistrate rejected the A-summary report and directed the police to complete investigations.
As the police was reportedly lethargic in investigations, Shrimali requested authorities to expedite the probe. Instead,Shrimali and Prajapati were called by the police for a lie-detection test in February 2010.
Shrimali refused saying they could not be subjected to a lie-detection test in a case under the Atrocities Act.
In March 2010,the HC cancelled the police orders for a lie-detection test on Shrimali and Prajapati and asked police to complete investigations and file the report before an appropriate authority.
With the case still not moving,Shrimali again moved the HC,which on January 19 this year ordered police to complete the probe within 15 days and submit a report before February 21.