Coimbatore

Bharathiar University Vice-Chancellor booked under SC/ST Act

Bharathiar University Vice-Chancellor A. Ganapathi. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

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 on a complaint filed by a woman belonging to the Scheduled Castes alleging that she was deliberately denied post-doctoral fellowship.

The case was registered late on Monday based on the complaint filed by N. Srilakshmi Prabha, from Navavoor in Coimbatore, for alleged offences committed by the Vice-Chancellor under three Sections of the Act between June 26 and November 6, 2017.

Ms. Prabha had completed PhD from the Department of Biotechnology, Bharthiar University, in 2011 and later applied for the post of Assistant Professor in the same department in 2016.

She alleged that the university ​indulged in irregularities in the appointment and someone else was appointed despite she being eligible for the post, and accused the university of having failed to follow ​the reservation norms in appointments or filling up of vacancies.

Ms. Prabha was later granted a post-doctoral fellowship by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for a tenure of five years in the year 2017-18. The UGC had directed the woman to upload her verification proforma through the ​University ​Registrar before July 31, 2017. Subsequently, Ms. Prabha submitted the verification proforma to the Registrar through her mentor on June 26.

She ​a​lleged that the university, instead of forwarding her proforma to the UGC for verification, sent her a letter asking to change the institute. According to her, the university failed to forward her verification proforma to the UGC for a second time when she submitted the documents to the Registrar in September. The complainant alleged that she lost her post-doctoral fellowship due to intentional and wilful refusal by the Vice-Chancellor to carry out his duties.

According to her, the university authorities are intentionally denying her post-doctoral fellowship award due to personal conflicts​.

As 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 a ST or an ST Tribe​)​ of the SC/ST PoA Act​.

The case has been forwarded to Perur DSP A. Velmurugan for investigation.

University responds

However, on Tuesday the university’s Public Relations Officer emailed the photocopy of a statement, which supposedly carried the signatures of nine members of the university syndicate, in support of the Vice-Chancellor. The statement, which was on a white paper without letterheads, said 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 case filed by her is pending, hence the university is not in a position to comment on it, the statement said.

With regard to the charge of Ms. Prabha’s husband being removed from service, the statement alleged that her husband R. Kanagaraj had turned up for work on many occasions in an inebriated condition and once he chose to enter the chamber of the Vice-Chancellor forcibly and behaved in an “indecent” and “threatening” manner. Some of the syndicate members were witness to the incident. A four-member committee that probed into the incident inquired Mr. Kanagaraj and fellow drivers and the committee, to prevent driving of university vehicles in inebriated condition, unanimously decided to remove him from service. None of the above decisions were taken by the Vice-Chancellor and rather the decisions were taken only collectively by the selection committee and the syndicate, the statement added.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 9:55:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/bharathiar-university-vc-booked-under-scst-act/article19997638.ece

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