Calcutta HC sets aside panel report recommending college teacher’s dismissal from service

  • | Friday | 17th September, 2021

Kolkata, Sep 17 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court has set aside an internal complaints committee (ICC) report recommending dismissal from service or transfer of a college teacher on a complaint by a woman colleague who alleged that words used by him amounted to sexual harassment at workplace. Justice Amrita Sinha directed the governing body of Vidyasagar College here to take necessary steps to reconstitute the ICC within a period of ten days and give the petitioner a proper opportunity of hearing. Justice Sinha set aside the final report of the ICC in which it had recommended dismissal from service or transfer to another college of the petitioner, who is an associate professor there. A complaint was lodged against the associate professor by one of his woman colleague in which she had alleged that words used by him amounted to sexual harassment at workplace, following which the governing body of the college referred the matter to its ICC. The petitioner alleged that an element of bias is evident in the composition of the ICC, two of whom are members of the governing body of the institution. The petitioner also alleged that the complaint was not served upon him and no proper opportunity of hearing was given to him. Advocate Kallol Basu, representing the petitioner, submitted that the complaint does not disclose any offence enumerated under Section 2(n) of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. Denying the claim, the advocate representing the college submitted that the complaint was forwarded to the petitioner and that proper opportunity of hearing was given to him to defend himself. Passing the order on Thursday, Justice Sinha directed the governing body to reconstitute the ICC, so as to ensure that its members are not part of the panel. The court directed that the petitioner will be given a proper opportunity of hearing to defend himself and the ICC will take all steps to enquire and dispose of the complaint by December 30. The court further directed that the ICC will be at liberty to take a decision whether the complaint can be dealt with under the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. PTI AMR MM MM


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