The Syndicate meeting of the Panjab University (PU) scheduled for April 15 will witness discussion on a report submitted by the fact finding committee after inquiring into a complaint moved by five women assistant professors in the English Department of Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College,Dasuya,alleging sexual harassment by centre superintendent Balwinder Singh Saini.
The committee has indicted Saini for indulging in acts of harassment and discrimination towards his women colleagues. There is also a strong probability of connivance between the accused and the college authorities, read the report.
Saini acted as centre superintendent in the said college during the semester system examination held in December 2012. The women assistant professors also mentioned the names of the colleges principal,N K Ghuman,dean Rupinder Kaur Randhawa and members of managing committee J S Randhawa,Gurpreet Singh Cheema and Chanan Singh Saini in the said complaint.
The complaint alleged that the accused helped certain candidates in cheating,that the complainants were wrongfully confined in the college premises by Saini and Ghuman on January 6,irregularities in paying adequate salary to complaining teachers and termination of services of four complainants and withdrawal of teaching work from the fifth one as a consequence of their complaints.
After receiving the complaint on January 16,the PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun K Grover had constituted a five member committee on January 24 and asked the committee to conduct a spot inquiry.
The fact finding committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Prof Rajesh Gill,senator and chairperson,Department of Sociology. Other members were Senators Dr Jagwant Singh,Charanjeet K Sohi,Dinesh Kumar and J R Dhiman. The committee held ten meetings on February 1,5,8,12,22,23,25 and on March 1,4 and 6.
The committee also visited the college on February 5.
The V-C had in anticipation of the decision of the Syndicate approved that Balwinder Singh be debarred from all examination duties/ work.
The Syndics will also deliberate on whether to grant approval for sending a copy of this report to DPI,Punjab,requesting appropriate action against Saini,issuing show cause notice to the management and principal of the college,and inquiry into payment of salaries to contractual staff.
The report concluded that the accused,Saini,used to pass sexual remarks on the complainants and indulged in whistling. Evidence – documentary,oral and circumstantial – established that Saini was in the habit of indulging in misconduct of examination and there was a strong possibility of his active role in helping certain examinees in connivance with the college staff. The call records of the complainants showed that three of the complainants were wrongfully confined in college premises on January 6,and the documents submitted by the college authorities showed that more than half of the teaching staff is being paid a consolidated salary of Rs 8,000,while the remaining staff is getting Rs 21,600 to Rs 35,090.
Lastly the committee held that there was clear evidence that the college authorities refused to entertain the complaints of the complainants and consciously chose to side with the accused,Saini.