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NUJS harass cuffs

An assistant registrar of the National University of Juridical Sciences has been arrested more than six months after an employee had accused him of sexually harassing and threatening her.

Siddhartha Guha was on Thursday asked to come to Bidhannagar South police station, where he was questioned and taken into custody. “We had asked the accused to come to the police station in the evening. He did so. We spoke to him briefly before arresting him,” said an officer.

Guha has been booked under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (outrage of modesty through words and gestures), 354 (outrage of modesty) and 354A (sexual harassment), and sections 66 and 67 of the information technology act.

He will be produced at the Bidhannagar assistant chief judicial magistrate’s court on Friday.

The woman employee of the Bypass university had lodged a police complaint on July 26 alleging that Guha had subjected her to sexual harassment, physical assault and criminal intimidation by threatening to throw acid on her.

The employee mentioned in her complaint that the law school authorities had been sitting on her complaint lodged with the vice-chancellor on June 12. A second police complaint was lodged in September, an officer said.

The police said the complainant had alleged that Guha had initially made indecent proposals to her verbally. After she rejected the proposals, he allegedly sent her “objectionable” emails.

Guha had moved Barasat court and Calcutta High Court for anticipatory bail but his pleas were turned down on both occasions.

Asked about the delay in arresting the accused, an officer said the sleuths wanted to make out a foolproof case and tie all loose ends before making a move.

“A part of the investigation was time consuming. As for the emails, for example, we had to get the IP addresses so that the accused can’t deny the charges,” said an officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate.

The young woman had decided to go to the police after the first hearing of the internal inquiry committee of the university had been deferred to August 20 and the university seemed reluctant to take any action against the accused other than asking him to go on leave without pay.

The university was accused of flouting a Supreme Court order making it mandatory for the sexual harassment complaints committee of an institution to probe a charge and submit a report in three months.

The law school is also in the news for another harassment case involving one of its former students and former Supreme Court judge Asok Ganguly, an honorary lecturer at NUJS.