Research Scholar Denied Postdoctoral Fellowship; VC Booked Under SC/ST Act
The Vadavalli police in Coimbatore have registered a case against A. Ganapathy, Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiar University under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, as The Hindu reports.
A complaint was filed on 6 November by a woman belonging to Scheduled Caste, N.Srilakshmi Prabha, who alleged that the Vice Chancellor of the University purposely denied her postdoctoral fellowship.
Perur DSP A. Velmurugan is investigating the case.
What is the case about?
Prabha had completed PhD from the Department of Biotechnology, Bharathiar University, in 2011 and later applied for the post of Assistant Professor in the same department in 2016.
However, she alleged that the University had involved in irregularities and that it had appointed someone else in her place. Prabha was eligible for the post. In spite of the that, it is alleged, the University failed to follow the reservation norms in appointments or filling up of vacancies.
However, Prabha was handed over a postdoctoral fellowship later and was directed to upload her verification proforma through the University Registrar before 31 July 2017. She did so, via her mentor, on 26 June.
But a problem arose when the University failed to forward the proforma to University Grants Commission (UGC) for verification. Prabha alleges that a similar case was repeated by the University when she uploaded her verification proforma yet again in September.
The complainant alleged that she lost her postdoctoral fellowship due to intentional and wilful refusal by the Vice-Chancellor to carry out his duties.
Prabha has also alleged that the University had removed her husband, R. Kanagaraj.
She approached the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), New Delhi, on 29 July and the vice-chairman (NCSC) inquired into the issue on 14 September in Chennai. But the Vice-Chancellor did not comply the order of the NCSC.
The Vice-chancellor is booked under Sections 3 (1) (za) (E) (obstructs or prevents a member of a SC or an ST in any manner with regard to practising any profession or the carrying on any occupation, trade or business or employment in any job which other members of the public, or any section thereof, have a right to use or have access to), 3 (1) (r) ( intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a SC or an ST in any place within public view) and 3 (2) (va) (commits any offence specified in the Schedule, against a person or property, knowing that such person is a member of an ST or an ST Tribe) of the SC/ST PoA Act.
The University’s stance on the incident
On 7 October, the Public Relations Officer of the University emailed the photocopy of a statement bearing the signatures of nine professors of the university syndicate who had extended their support to the VC.
The response written on a white paper without a letterhead claimed that the complainant was an unsuccessful candidate for the post of Assistant Professor in November 2016. A case filed by her before the High Court challenging the rejection of her candidature was dismissed as withdrawn on March 27, 2017. Another lawsuit filed against her is pending. Hence the university is not in a position to comment on it, the statement read.
About removal of Prabha’s husband from office, the statement has pointed out that the decision to remove him was taken unanimously by the University syndicate and selection committee – he had come to work inebriated and had shown improper workplace behaviour like that of threatening. Some of the syndicate members were witness to the incident.
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