CHENNAI: A woman lecturer of Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Karaikal has alleged sexual harassment by the college principal Dr P Thambidurai. In response the TN Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the Chief Secretary (CS) of the Puducherry government to consider the lecturer’s allegation. The lecturer alleges that harassment by the principal for several years even after a complaint was lodged against him in 2009.
Judicial Member of the TN Bench, Justice G Rajasuriya and technical member Dr P Prabakaran issued the direction on an application from R Bhuvaneswari, working as Assistant Professor in the college, recently.
The Bench gave a personal hearing to the woman lecturer and declared that the CS shall consider within two months Bhuvaneswari’s representation dated October 5, 2015, pass a speaking order and communicate the same to her.
In the complaint, Bhuvaneswari alleged that she and another woman teaching staff were sexually abused by Thambidurai in his capacity as the principal in 2009. Following complaints lodged by the two women faculty, the Karaikal Collector conducted an enquiry and in his report dated August 11, 2009, he had held that the action of the principal had brought disrepute to the institution. In March, 2010, Thambidurai was transferred to another college in Puducherry. However, with the help of his political connections and his superiors turning a blind eye, he returned to the college within six months.
After returning, an emboldened Thambidurai continued to harass women staff members aggressively and representations were sent to various authorities on different occasions. When these complaints failed to evoke appropriate action from the authorities, Bhuvaneswari moved the High Court with the present application for a direction to the CS to consider her representation and take necessary action against Thambidurai. This has now been granted.