Sexual harassment panel fails to find evidence against UBS professors

Gulati had accused UBS chairperson A K Vashisht and Prof Dinesh Gupta of sexual harassment a month and a half ago.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 4, 2013 1:47:38 am

The sexual harassment committee of the Panjab University (PU),set up to inquire into allegations of sexual harassment leveled by University Business School’s Assistant Professor Neha Gulati against two senior faculty members of the department,is learnt to have not found any conclusive evidence to substantiate the complaint against the accused.

Though the committee submitted its report to PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover,the issue appears far from over and is likely to figure in the upcoming Syndicate meeting slated for this month.

Gulati had accused UBS chairperson A K Vashisht and Prof Dinesh Gupta of sexual harassment a month and a half ago.

The committee held four meetings before submitting its report with the authorities. The first meeting was held on May 14 wherein the statements of the complainant were recorded.

In the second meeting held on May 24,the statements of eight witnesses called by the committee from the department were taken into account.

Then on May 28,the sole eyewitness of the complainant – a rickshaw-puller – was summoned by the committee to record his statements and finally,on May 31,the statements of both the professors were recorded.

Sources said that an eyewitness of the complainant had not signed the document carrying his statements. They said that the rickshaw-puller said that as he cannot read the document,he should be given the document and after getting it verified he would put his signature,but the committee denied his request.

Moreover,as per other witnesses’ statements,the department was vacated at 5 pm on April 11 and the rickshaw-puller said that he was there outside the department at around 6 pm or 6.15 pm. Taking this into account,the committee failed to reconcile his statements with the statements of the witnesses.

Despite the fact that the complainant had asked for a copy of the rules and regulations under which the committee was formed,the committee has not provided her with the copy of the rules till date.

According to official information,Gulati had moved a complaint against the accused before the PU authorities on April 15 and two complaints against them on May 1 to the UT Police.

While acting on a complaint,the UT Police had on May 1 registered a case under Section 354 (sexual harassment/ outraging the modesty of a woman),506 (criminal intimidation),and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC at the Sector 11 Police Station against both the professors.

Retrospectively,the department had started the process of GDs and interviews on April 11 and ended on April 23. She had alleged that both the accused had asked her to make some altercation in marks awarded to one of the candidates and one of the professors also manhandled her.

Sources said that GDs and interviews went well on April 11,but differences emerged on April 12. On April 12,the GD session was chaired by Prof Gupta and Neha Gulati was the coordinator of the session.

However,Gulati reached the department late and when she tried to enter the GD room,the room was bolted from inside following which she went to the chairperson and they were involved in an altercation.

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