“My domain of work is international and when somebody searched me on Google, half of it was full of this false sexual harassment case against me”, said former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Arun Grover, a day after the case of inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment was closed by the Chancellor on recommendation of an independent internal committee (IIC).
Speaking to The Indian Express, Grover said that all these years he has gone through a lot of mental agony due to the case he was falsely framed into. “Whenever I would go to Delhi or for some conferences and we would meet educationists over lunch, they would ask me….aapke us harassment case ka kya hua…this is something that has not just defamed me but made me go through mental stress and agony. It has even defamed the office of Vice-Chancellor,” Grover said.
He added, “Just for this dirty politics of senate, why does my wife and family have to suffer, which they did because of all this. I had to face so much of embarrassment because of something that was completely false.”
The former V-C said that it was for the first time that the office of Vice Chancellor was dragged in the court for no reason. “In very special circumstances, this committee were constituted by the DoPt, Members of Police, UT, National Commission for Women, MHRD, UT all were in this committee and the complainant did not want to give the statement because she knew that questions will arise and it will be proved that it is a malicious complaint. It is a completely irresponsible act and unethical,” he said.
Now, Grover has sought action against the woman professor. “Dear colleagues from universities of India, I served as a V-C of PU for two-three years term from 2012-18. While we are discussing NPE and transformations and reforms in governance of universities of India, I wish to bring to your attention the need to protect the offices of V-Cs in India. False and malicious charges were put against me to force me to quit the job before commencement of my second term,” he said in the communication sent to the forum of present and past Vice-chancellors of India to exchange views and discuss NEP.
“I relentlessly fought these charges abetted by several powerful members of the governing body of PU. After a long wait of five years, an inquiry committee specially appointed on behalf of DOPT (PMO), NCW, MHRD and Chancellor, PU, the Vice President of India and Administrator UT Chandigarh has just submitted a report that the complainant does not want the allegations to be investigated as I have retired as V-C. Such happenings ought to be known to the V-Cs of India,” he specified.
The committee was headed by Dheera Khandelwal, additional chief secretary, environment, Haryana government and its report was submitted to the office of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chancellor of Panjab University
It was on April 15, 2015, that a woman professor had accused then PU V-C AK Grover of sexual harassment. She had filed a complaint to the then chancellor, Hamid Ansari. Attempts were made to contact the complainant professor, but she disconnected the calls upon hearing about the case.
Grover writes for action
Grover wrote to the current V-C to take action against the professor. “The unethical conduct of the said professor needs to be investigated by an appropriate disciplinary committee of the university and the UGC Chairman and Minister of Education, GOI, the Chief Minister of Punjab (ex-officio member pf PU Senate), the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court (ex-officio member of PU Senate), the Hon’ble Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT, etc. be informed of the outcome of such an inquiry. The offices of DOPT and NCW also need to be informed about the irresponsible action by a PU Professor who has been a member of PU Senate twice and President of PUTA thrice. The democratic structure of PU has been misused to inflict a heavy burden on the office of V-C, PU,” he said.