The Delhi Government on Wednesday ordered a judicial inquiry into the death of a former Delhi University lab assistant, keeping in view the “sensitivity of the case”.

A government statement said retired additional district judge B. L. Garg will conduct an inquiry into all aspects and circumstances leading to the self-immolation by the 35-year-old woman.

This inquiry supersedes the one to be conducted by the Higher Education Director. Mr. Garg will be asked to submit his report within three weeks, the statement added.

The lab assistant was an employee of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, which is fully-funded by the Delhi Government. She had taken the extreme step alleging sexual harassment by the college principal.

NCW begins probe

The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday held its first meeting to probe the case.

NCW member Nirmala Sawant, who is heading the probe committee, told The Hindu on Wednesday: “We had called the principal, Delhi Police officers and senior members of the Delhi University’s anti-sexual harassment unit to understand what caused the deceased to take such an extreme step. The deceased had first complained about mental harassment to university authorities in 2009. We will look into how this case was followed up.” The committee will examine if the lab assistant’s dismissal was done in a proper manner and whether the correct procedures were followed.

The woman had died at the city’s Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan Hospital on Monday morning. She had filed complaints of sexual harassment with the office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister, Delhi Police and Delhi University. However, she had alleged that no action was taken. The woman’s husband is a Delhi Police head constable.

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