IIT Don Suspended for Sexually Harassing Student
By D Suresh Kumar | Published: 25th December 2013 07:17 AM |
A senior professor of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) has been suspended and evicted from his official quarters on the campus following a proven charge of sexual harassment of a young research scholar on a trip abroad.
It is reliably learnt that the suspension order was delivered to him on Monday in the presence of his Head of Department. But he was asked to vacate the quarters last week.
Informed sources said the incident happened more than two months ago when the professor asked the research scholar to accompany him on an
academic visit to Germany and allegedly conducted himself in an inappropriate manner there.
Upon returning, the girl filed a formal complaint with the institution. She also supposedly approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) seeking action on her complaint.
Sources said the complaint was referred to the IIT Madras’ Complaint Committee Against Sexual Harassment, set up as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines in the Vishaka case.
The girl has since been transferred to another department. “The same professor was earlier caught in the company of a non-teaching staff on the campus. The woman later took voluntary retirement,” said an administrator at the IIT Madras. Initially, the IIT Madras authorities were learnt to have sought legal opinion on dealing with the professor.
On December 18, while the action proposed against the professor was still unclear, Express e-mailed a questionnaire to the IIT Madras Director and Registrar seeking details about the handling of the complaint. The next day, Registrar, V G Bhooma, sent an ambiguous reply refusing to confirm or deny any case of sexual harassment.
(Name of professor and department withheld to protect identity of complainant)