Stephen's molestation row: Thampu submits action-taken report

Stephen's molestation row: Thampu submits action-taken report

St Stephen's College Principal Valson Thampu, who is facing allegations of shielding a professor accused of molesting a PhD student, today submitted a report to DCW in which he claimed that the matter was referred to a college committee for investigation.

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Barkha Shukla Singh had sought an action-taken report from Thampu in the matter on June 24.

In the report, Thampu said the girl had approached him on December 10 last year and complained to him that the accused professor -- Satish Kumar -- had allegedly committed acts of sexual harassment against her.

"The principal advises her to file a complaint with Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). She expresses herself vehemently against it, saying all she wants the Principal to do is to help her complete her Ph D. The principal should prevail on Dr Kumar to help her achieve this goal," read the text of an excerpt from the report.

Thampu further said that the student had met him again a week later along with her father and sister and reiterated her request that "earning a Ph D" was her ardent wish.

According to the report, Thampu called a meeting of the accused and the complainant a few days later to evolve an amicable way of fulfilling the wish of the complainant.

"The complainant does not make any mention of the sexual harassment. The discussion proceeds cordially and an agreement is reached that the Ph D work of the complainant will be completed by the end of July 2015 provided the complainant cooperated. The meeting ends on a happy note and the matter is treated as settled from both sides," the report said.

However, on January 9, the complainant met the principal once again and submitted a written representation dated December 19, 2014 accusing Kumar of "immoral, illegal and unethical" behaviour and stating for the first time that Dr Kumar "sexually assaulted" her in October 2013, it added.

According to the report, Thampu insisted that the matter be referred to the ICC but the complainant requested against it and wrote a letter dated January 9 saying, "I do not wish it to be treated as a case of sexual harassment and that the matter should be treated as closed."

On January 10, the complainant again met the principal with a handwritten request asking him "not to pass on the document to the ICC of the college" as she needs time to rethink the matter, it said.

The complainant also revealed that she had filed a complaint with the chemistry department of DU several months ago and that she needed time to withdraw that complaint.

"On January 14, the complainant does not return and the principal passes all documents pertaining to the matter to Dr Karen Gabriel the presiding officer of the ICC. The principal then sought explanation from the presiding officer on delay in completing the investigation in response to which they sent their reply on June 19.

"Meanwhile, the media reports the complainant has lost faith in the fairness of ICC and withdrawn her complaint and subsequently an unsigned email communication has been sent to ICC," the report said.

Thampu has also claimed in the report that the student had insisted that Kumar should continue to be her guide as she had completed "80 per cent of her work".

An FIR was registered against Kumar, assistant professor in St Stephen's chemistry department, on June 19 after the student filed a complaint alleging sexual harassment.

The HRD ministry had also sought a report in connection with the sexual harassment case.

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