Nine years after several male students studying in Ramjas College accused their vice-principal of sexual harassment, an internal committee set up by the college has found him guilty of “sexual abuse” and “repeated targeting” of the students. After the students, all of whom are from the Northeast, levelled the allegations in October 2007, hundreds of students had protested on campus. A sub-committee of the College Complaints Committee (CCC), in its report submitted in April 2008, had said that the sexual harassment charges against vice-principal B N Ray stood proved.
He was removed from his position and was not allowed to come to the college, but he continued to be on the rolls, allegedly without any pecuniary disadvantage. He retired in 2015. Ray challenged the legality of the committee in the Delhi High Court in 2012, following which the court told Ramjas to begin the enquiry from the stage of cross-examination, arguing that the previous committee did not give him that opportunity. The CCC, which was set up following directions from the HC, has now found Ray guilty again. When contacted, Ray said he was not aware of the recent report and refused to comment on it. “The earlier report of the committee was rejected by the High Court. I have no idea about this new report because I retired from Ramjas in 2015. I cannot comment on it,” he said.
In its report submitted in December 2016, the five-member CCC has said it agreed with the findings of the sub-committee, which said that four out of six charges against Ray stood proved. These included “inappropriate physical contact over a period of two years”, “hugging and kissing”, “physical contact with genitalia”, and “providing rewards for sexual compliance” in the form of high marks in internal assessment.
“The fact that not just one, but four charges were proved against Dr B N Ray, shows that he repeatedly targeted young students from the Northeast, who were thousands of kilometres away from home, and abused them. After lengthy deliberations, this committee, in its opinion, feels that a person like Dr B N Ray was totally unsuited to be employed as a teacher in any institution,” reads the CCC report.
The CCC comprised Mausumi Bose from the Department of Philosophy as the Chairperson; N A Jacob from the Department of English; Shikha Bhatia, a non-teaching representative; Tapasya Nagang, a student representative; and senior advocate Mukul Talwar, as a co-opted member. The five-page report recommended that Ray be dismissed from service with “all attendant consequences, including forfeiture/withholding of future pension, gratuity and employer’s share of provident fund”.
When contacted, Bose said, “We are not aware if the forfeiture (of pension, gratuity and employer’s PF) has happened. We have submitted our report, it is for the college to now implement it. It’s an administrative matter.”