Shivabasavaiah's fate to be decided on June 24

Shivabasavaiah's fate to be decided on June 24

The report, in a sealed cover, was handed over to the office of Vice Chancellor for further action on Monday afternoon by the head of the Committee K Yeshodhara. Registrar P S Naik received it on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, who is in China. He is expected to return on June 19.

Sources, the committee, prima facie, has said recommended action against Dr Shivabasavaiah, who was suspended from the post of Head of  Department of  Zoology after research scholar Sarita attempted suicide and this caused huge uproar in the Assembly as well.

The fate of Dr Shivabasavaiah may be decided on June 24 when the University Syndicate is scheduled to meet. However, there is an amount of curiosity associated with this case, since a parallel investigation has also been initiated in the recent days by a single member panel with former judge and legal advisor to UoM, Venkat Rao on it and with Dr Gopalappa as presenting officer. It remains to be seen if the Syndicate will bide its time on the case, awaiting the decision of that panel as well.

For the University, which has set up a Committee to look into cases of sexual harassment against women, has no particular precedence of meting out harsh punshinment to the perpetrators, even if found guilty. With this case, it remains to be seen if the University will change this impression to accomodate the interests and safety of women on its 94-year-old campus.

Background

Sarita, who had carried out research under the guidance of Dr Shivabasavaiah for about 11 months, had lodged a complaint with Vice Chancellor V G Talawar on March 1, 2011. According to her, though the Vice Chancellor initially reponded in a manner that gave her confidence that justice would be done, only to retract later and asks her to continue her research with another professor as guide.

Dr Vijaykumar, Sarita’s husband,brought to VC’s notice a written complaint he had lodged seeking his intervention. After a heated argument and some unpleasant moments, Sarita and her husband left VC’s residence.

Sarita attempted suicide on the night on March 5 and the events took a different turn prompting the university to take up a hurried investigation and police booked a case against both Shivabasavaiah and Vice Chancellor Talawar as well.

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