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St Stephen’s spat: Nandita Narain applies for leave

Narain affirmed that she was going on leave for six months due to personal reasons and had applied for leave in March this year.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
May 3, 2014 12:52:24 am

As the controversy surrounding Delhi University Teachers’ Union president and St Stephen’s teacher Nandita Narain over her remarks against the principal of the college rages on, Narain has applied for a semester-long leave from work, college authorities said.

“She (Nandita Narain) has applied for leave for a semester,” St Stephen’s College principal Valson Thampu said.

Declining to comment on the proceedings of the college governing body meetings in the case, Thampu said, “There is an inquiry committee, which has been constituted by the governing body to look into the matter. The college does not make public proceedings of internal meetings. The person is an employee of the college and the matter is sub-judice.”

Narain affirmed that she was going on leave for six months due to personal reasons and had applied for leave in March this year.

Headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Manmohan Sarin, the three-member inquiry committee was expected to discuss the case in a governing body meeting on Thursday.

With Narain moving the Delhi High Court and a hearing scheduled for May 16, sources said the governing body could not take a decision since the matter was sub-judice.

“The case was a part of the original agenda papers of the meeting but it was dropped at the last minute,” a source said.

The controversy began after Narain allegedly made defamatory remarks in a newspaper about Thampu in June last year. The newspaper report concerned a protest by students of the college hostel against the different curfew timings for girls and boys.

According to the report, changes had been brought about in the college ordinance to crack down on the protesting students and a quote attribued to Narain said there were sexual harassment allegations against the principal.

Even as Narain claimed that she had not made those remarks and had written to the newspaper about it, an inquiry committee was set up against her.

Fearing possible “victimisation” by the college authorities, Narain, on April 16, filed a plea in the High Court against the institution of the committee, the source said.

In an emergency meeting of the DUTA Executive this year, Harish Khanna, DUTA secretary and AAP MLA from Timarpur, had said the charge of defamation against Narain was “absolutely baseless” and that this inquiry was “an attack on the teachers’ movement” in DU.

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