Sexual harassment: IIMB suspends CAO

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) has finally reacted to the alleged sexual harassment case by suspending the accused, C V Indushekhar Vassist, chief administrative officer of the Institute.

The suspension came to light after the IIMB director Pankaj Chandra sent an internal mail to the faculty which stated, “the Gender Sensitivity Committee (GSC) of the Institute enquired into the complaint against C V Indushekar Vassist, our CAO, and submitted its report.

Based on the findings of the committee, a show cause notice has been issued to him. Pending submission of reply to the notice, he will be kept under suspension with effect from November 29, 2012.”

Members of women’s rights organisation, Vimochana who had staged a protest on November 29 met the IIMB director on Friday. Dona Fernandes from Vimochana said that the director sounded very ‘non-committal’ about taking action against the accused and kept saying that justice will be done. 

“We asked him why the GSC report was given to the accused and not to the complainant. The director said that since the accused had to respond to the allegations, a copy of the report was given to him,” she added.

The director did not provide a “concrete” answer on why the complainant was terminated from her services as the medical officer at the Institute despite Supreme Court directions stating that complainant’s status will be protected in the Institute during the period of inquiry, she added.

Dona said that when they asked the director to take a decision at the earliest and not to extend the matter till January next, he assured them that he will do it in a week’s time.

The medical officer, victim of the harassment, told Deccan Herald that IIMB had acted under pressure by suspending the CAO after recommendation from the GSC, which the director had received in August 2012.

“The director had to take action against the accused within 10 days after receiving report and, not issue a show cause notice at this stage. This clearly shows that the director is biased and protecting the accused,” she added. The CAO has been accused of sexually harassing the medical officer for the past two years at the institute.

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