February 1, 2011 1:05:02 am
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay on Monday confirmed that one of its professors is found guity of sexual harassment and will now face compulsory retirement. In a press statement issued by the institute,it said that charges have been proved against Prof S K Gupta.
The institute had first received a formal complaint by the victim against Prof Gupta in March 2009,said the press release. Before this,the case was informally reported to the Student Counsellor attached to Dean of Student Affairs office in December 2008. After weeks of verifying and ascertaining facts,a suspension order was issued to Prof SK Gupta,who is a senior professor at the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering.
A panel was formed to probe into case in March 2009. In cases of sexual harassment,the complaint committee of the Womens Cell initiates an inquiry with just a complaint. In such cases,the complaint itself is treated as a chargesheet, the statement reads.
The inquiry was concluded in August 2009 and a report was submitted to the Director of IIT Bombay. A copy of the report was provided to Prof Gupta too.
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We have zero tolerance for such incidents and a probe into the matter was conducted immediately in a systematic way and as per the rules and regulations laid by the institute. During the proceedings of the panel,Prof Gupta was given an opportunity to cross examine the victim and other witnesses. All procedures laid down for the conduct of the inquiry were scrupulously followed, a senior official from IIT-B said.
On March 12,2010,the Board of Governors of IIT-B ordered compulsory retirement for Prof Gupta with reduction in his pension and gratuity by one-third. The release further says,Part of the orientation programme for fresh entrants includes detailed step-by-step guidelines for action to be taken in such cases. The institute has a well-defined,process-oriented approach to discourage such incidents. In the rare occasion that they do occur,it deals with them expeditiously and in an exemplary fashion to ensure that they are not repeated in the future.
Once approved by Kapil Sibal,Gupta will be the first IIT professor to face such a penalty on the charges of sexual harassment. Prof Gupta remained unavailable for comment.
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