Siddhartha Guha, the assistant registrar of the National University of Juridical Sciences who has been arrested on the charge of sexually harassing a woman colleague, has been remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody.
The university said Guha could be sacked if proved guilty. As of now, he will remain suspended. “The accused will remain under suspension till the internal complaints committee takes a resolution,” said vice-chancellor P. Ishwara Bhat.
The recommendation, Bhat said, would be placed before the university’s executive council, which is likely to meet in January. “The next action will be taken on the basis of the outcome of the council meeting.”
“The executive council will also decide whether rules applicable to an arrested state government official applies to an arrested NUJS official too,” a university source said.
Guha was suspended in August, two months after the woman employee lodged a police complaint accusing him of subjecting her to sexual harassment and criminal intimidation by threatening to throw acid on her.
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.
Guha was arrested on Thursday evening when he went to Bidhannagar South police station following summons in connection with the complaint lodged five months ago.
Police sources said he had been summoned on December 17. But he did not turn up at the police station that day and went on December 19, instead.
On December 26, he was summoned again. “He was arrested after he refused to cooperate with the officers and did not share information about his phone and laptop that can be crucial pieces of evidence in this case,” said a Bidhannagar commissionerate officer.
At the Bidhannagar assistant chief judicial magistrate’s court, Guha’s lawyer Soumyajit Raha submitted that his client failed to turn up at the police station on December 17 because of his mother’s illness.
“There is no question of non-cooperation. The investigating officer was duly informed about his mother’s illness. Thereafter, he has faced interrogation twice and answered questions to the investigators’ satisfaction. He has no intention to run away if granted bail,” Raha submitted.
Police sources said there are allegations against Guha of trying to intimidate the complainant and another woman employee. “Guha, who was not seen at the university since July 26, visited the campus on December 17,” said an officer.
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.