Sexual harassment case against IIM-Rohtak director cancelled

More than a month after a complaint of sexual harassment against IIM-Rohtak director, Prof. Dheeraj Sharma, the Rohtak Police have proceeded to cancel the First Information Report in the case saying that the “allegations levelled against him were not substantiated”.

Station House Officer, Women’s Police Station, Garima, told The Hindu that no evidence was found against Prof. Sharma during the investigation spanning more than a month and the police had now moved the local court seeking cancellation of the FIR. The complainant, a former woman assistant professor of IIM-Rohtak, however, alleged that she was not satisfied with the investigation and the evidence produced by her was “overlooked”. She added that the police had failed to procure the closed-circuit television footage of two incidents — November 8, 2017 and March 9, 2018 — that could be a crucial evidence in the case. She said that she was not “shocked” by the recent developments since the accused was “influential”. The complainant said that she had also written to the IG, Rohtak, recently expressing her dissatisfaction over the investigation.

Ms. Garima, however, said that there was no CCTV footage available related to the incident and the evidence submitted by the complainant did not prove her charges.

The 35-year-old woman, in her complaint to the police, had alleged that Prof. Sharma began sexually harassing her soon after her appointment to the post of Assistant Professor on September 1 last year on a probation period of three years. The complainant, who was dismissed almost a month after she made an indicative complaint about Prof. Sharma’s behaviour to the institute’s board, had alleged in the FIR that the director would seek her views on extra-marital relationships and make indecent remarks on her private life, looks and clothes. She said, in the complaint, that he would ask her out for evening strolls and even groped her inside her cabin on one occasion.

Following the complaint, a case was registered at Rohtak’s Women Police Station on charges of an assault to outrage the modesty of a woman and making sexually coloured remarks under the Indian Penal Code on May 29.

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