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No anticipatory bail for St Stephen's professor in molestation case

PTI 23 Jun 2015, 17:47:31 IST
PTI

New Delhi:  A Delhi court today dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Delhi University's St Stephen's college professor who was accused of molesting a student doing PhD under his supervision.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg denied the relief to Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the college's chemistry department.

The student had on June 19 lodged an FIR against Kumar, 40, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by him and that the college principal tried to protect him when the matter was reported to the concerned college authorities.  

Kumar sought anticipatory bail on the ground that allegations levelled by the girl were "concocted" and there was not even a single eye witness to any of the incidents.  

His counsel Nitin Kumar Swaroop said that Kumar was ready to join the investigation and there was no need to arrest him.  

The bail application, however, was opposed by the public prosecutor and the victim's advocate on the ground that the allegation against Kumar was very serious and he was at a dominiant position.

Public Prosecutor R K Tanwar argued that Kumar has already tampered with some evidence with the help of college principal and has attempted to rape the girl.  

Police needs Kumar's custodial interrogation as his mobile phone was required to see the call details and a thorough probe was necessary in the case, he said.  

Tanwar contended that the girl was molested by Kumar on October 15, 2013 in the college laboratory and after this incident he kept stalking her.

He added that on the day of this incident he called the girl atleast 25 times on her mobile phone but she did not answer his call and later on he tried to assure her that it will not happen again.
Kumar's counsel, however, argued that the girl had given different versions in her three different complaints and the chain of allegations increased in every complaint.  

He also said the professor could not have molested or followed the girl as he was 85 per cent physically disabled and walked with the help of a stick.

The prosecutor also told the court that there were number of such incidents committed by Kumar with the girl and her complaint is corroborated by her statement recorded before a magistrate under section 164 CrPC.

The public prosecutor had alleged that the college principal Valson Thampu had forced the girl to give in writing that she does not want to pursue the matter and Thampu in connivance with Kumar had tried to pursuade the victim.  

Advocate Sunil J Mathews, appearing for the girl, also opposed the bail plea saying Kumar made offensive statements which come under sections 354(assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354A(punishment for sexual harassment) of the IPC and also threatened to throw acid (sulphuric acid) on her if she refused to wear saree of a particular colour.

The counsel said Kumar was abusing his dominant position because the girl's PhD was entirely under his supervision.

He also claimed that Kumar, who was also the Bursar of the college, had stopped the stipend of the girl from past few months.

The student, who was doing her PhD under the supervision of Kumar, had lodged an FIR against the professor and had also alleged in her complaint that Thampu "criminally intimidated her to give written application to him expressing her consent to close the matter in college itself in order to not cause any delay or problems in completion of her PhD".  Thampu has, however, not been named in the FIR.

Thampu had confirmed that the victim had raised the complaint with him but denied allegations of trying to protect Kumar.

He had said that the matter has been referred to the college's internal complaint committee, which deals with such complaints and the issue is being looked into.