Mysore professor got away with mild punishment

Probe panels had indicted him for molesting a Tanzanian student

Even though the Women Harassment Complaint Committee of the UoM and the inquiry committee constituted by Mahajana’s College, where she studied, found the professor guilty, the varsity let him off with a mild punishment.

On May 1, 2010, Marya M Marbo, a final semester student of criminology, lodged a complaint with the authorities that Prof Ashok molested her, when the latter had come to her college as an external examiner for the practical examination.

Roopa Rao of Samatha Vedike, who is also a member of the UoM panel, told Deccan Herald that both the reports found the professor guilty.

“We recommended that the university should cut three increments, relieve Ashok permanently of all examination and evaluation work and book a criminal case against him. We never received any information of action against Ashok. It was only when the Vedike applied for information through RTI Act that the Vice-Chancellor said they had cut the professor’s increments.

The UoM failed to act on two other recommendations, though the case was of a serious nature. The varsity’s tough action would have been a lesson for others,” she said.

Saritha deposes

Meanwhile, a two-member committee of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) began its inquiry into the alleged sexual harassment case in the department of zoology of UoM on Monday.

The complainant Saritha, the research student, who charged her supervisor Dr Shivabasavaiah with sexual harassment, and her husband Dr Vijay Kumar deposed before the Commission. The panel, headed by IGP of SHRC Mohammed Wazir Khan and Deputy Superintendent of Police Ashwath Narayana recorded the statements of the husband and wife in the day-long proceedings.

Saritha gave her statements for more than three hours. Vijay Kumar appeared before the panel in the post-lunch session. Though the panel members refused to speak to the media, Ashwath Narayana said the case would be heard in the SHRC court.

Dr Shivabasavaiah will appear before the Commission on Tuesday. The panel will record the statements of Vice-Chancellor and Registrar on Wednesday.

The city police, who are also investigating the case, are expected to file a chargesheet by weekend. Saritha will also depose before the Women Harassment Complaint Committee of UoM on Tuesday.

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