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St Stephen's professor, accused of molesting student, resigns

New Delhi: St Stephen's college Bursar Satish Kumar, who has been accused by one of his PhD students of molesting her, resigned from his position on Wednesday, following which the college's governing body appointed a
PTI June 24, 2015 16:33 IST
PTI

New Delhi: St Stephen's college Bursar Satish Kumar, who has been accused by one of his PhD students of molesting her, resigned from his position on Wednesday, following which the college's governing body appointed a new Bursar.

Kumar had been denied anticipatory bail by a Delhi court on Tuesday.

"Kumar had sent a text message expressing his inability to discharge the duties of Bursar. The college's governing body has resolved this morning that Kumar be relieved of all duties and obligations of the position and a new appointment has been made," St Stephen's Principal Valson Thampu said.

"The college's treasurer Sudhir Joseph is now the new Bursar while Kumar will continue to work as assistant professor," he added.

Thampu, who himself is facing allegations of trying to protect the accused said, "I in the capacity of principal have to wait for the nod of the governing body to implement such decisions".

The student had approached police last week alleging that Kumar had molested the complainant on October 15, 2013. She has also accused him of stalking her, passing lewd remarks and making inappropriate physical contact for months before the incident and even threatening to "pour sulfuric acid on her if she didn't wear a yellow sari to college."

The complainant has also accused Thampu of shielding Kumar when the matter was reported to him. She has alleged that the Principal discouraged her from filing a sexual harassment case, leaving her with two options — "go to Delhi University's grievance redressal cell and jeopardise my degree or term the issue an academic problem".

Thampu is maintaining that the girl had reported the matter to him and he had "duly" forwarded it to the college's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), a statutory body to deal with complaints of this nature.

The Principal has also said that he had offered to change the student's guide if she was finding it difficult to work under him but she had refused to accept the suggestion.

The HRD ministry has also sent a notice to Delhi University seeking a report into the accused's actions.

"HRD ministry has sent a directive to Delhi University seeking a report in connection with the sexual harassment case. The communication was forwarded by DU Registrar to the college and I have sent a status report on the same to the university," St Stephen's Principal Valson Thampu said.

"It wasn't clear from the HRD directive whether a status report has been sought from both the committees or St Stephen's alone," he added.

Officials in the HRD ministry said that any action in the case will be taken after evaluating the reply. "Any action against St Stephen's principal or any further development will be based on the outcome of the reply received from the university," they said.