The National University of Juridical Sciences has suspended an employee accused of sexually harassing a colleague at the workplace.
The authorities have conveyed the suspension order to the accused through an email last Saturday evening as the official is absconding, said university registrar Surojit Mukherjee.
“The university has suspended the accused for not cooperating with the institution in an internal probe into the allegation of sexual harassment at workplace brought against him by another employee,” Mukherjee said.
The accused will remain suspended till the internal complaints committee comes up with a “firm resolution”, the registrar said.
The university set up the internal complaints committee to probe the victim’s allegation in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines on dealing with complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.
“The probe, however, could not gather pace because of lack of cooperation by the accused. The investigation by police, too, is getting delayed because the accused is absconding,” the police said.
The slow progress of the internal inquiry had sparked resentment on the campus. The suspension order is being seen by many at the university as the first “firm” step since the woman employee filed her written complaint on June 12.
After waiting for 43 days for the university to act against the accused, the woman lodged an FIR with Bidhannagar South police station on July 26, accusing the authorities of sitting on her complaint.
The woman stated in the FIR that the accused had subjected her to sexual harassment, physical assault and criminal intimidation through threats of an acid attack.
“The only action the authorities had taken till Saturday’s suspension was to ask the accused to go on leave without pay,” said an official at the Bypass law school.
A probe by the internal panel has revealed that the accused had been sending the woman “lewd emails” for “over a year”.
The accused had moved the Barasat court for anticipatory bail but the judge refused to hear the plea on August 9. The case will come up for hearing on August 14.
A university official said the accused had sent a mail from an undisclosed location, seeking extension of his leave. “The question of granting the plea does not arise,” the official asserted.