The Centre has removed a JNU professor, who is accused of sexual harassment, from the Supreme Court empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution.
Atul Kumar Johri, who has been accused of sexually harassing eight women in the University was removed by the Environment Ministry in an order dated July 4, PTI reported. Johri, who was arrested in March is currently out on bail. The Environment Ministry in its notification also said that it had removed another member, professor Mukesh Khare of the department of civil engineering, IIT-Delhi, from the EPCA.
Khare, told PTI, “I had resigned six months back from the committee due to personal reasons. My resignation has also been accepted.” Confirming the development, a top Environment Ministry told PTI that Johri was removed as he had allegations of misconduct on him. “We are looking for replacements (in the EPCA),” the official added.
The Delhi High Court had recently directed Johri not to take charge as warden of any women’s hostel on the campus. The court said it has “no hesitation in holding that in view of the law, JNU is duty-bound to provide a safe working environment to the complainants, even if they do not take recourse to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to seek redressal”.
Meanwhile, the court fixed the matter for August 17, to see if its directions have been complied with or not. The court’s directions were issued on pleas by several women students seeking Johri’s suspension and removal from the JNU campus. Eight FIRs have been lodged against Johri, alleging sexual harassment.