sexual harassment

PATNA: A two-member committee set up by the board of directors (BoG) of IGIMS to look into the matter of appointment and dismissal of associate professor of the nursing college of the institute, Rupashree Dasgupta, has said in its report that the then director of the institute, Dr Arun Kumar, should not have sacked her. After dismissal, Dasgupta had charged the director with sexual harassment.The report says her appointment was correct as per the advertisement issued. At the same time, the committee, comprising Dr Amarkant Jha ‘Amar’ and Dr Shiv Kumari Prasad, says the ad didn’t properly mention qualifications for the post.

The report will be submitted to the BoG on Monday. The committee was formed on August 25 this year.

Ruposhree was dismissed in June 2013, almost 20 months after she was appointed. The post was advertised in 2010, with the eligibility criteria being Master’s in nursing and total seven years of experience, with minimum of three years’ teaching experience.

According to the report, the matter is already pending in the Patna high court, which will take a call on what has to be done in the case of discrepancy in the ad. Hence, any final decision will be taken by the court.

The report says seven years’ teaching experience after PG degree is required for the post, but the ad said seven years’ experience in all (before or after masters) is required. Ruposhree fulfilled the criteria as per the ad.

Ruposhree, in her petition in the high court, has said that qualifications demanded were in consonance with the Indian Nursing Council guidelines. She has also cited a 2008 SC judgment, which said any vacancy ad cannot be read beyond the lines and has to be read in the limits in which it is published.

The report says any appointment by the institute is given post-facto approval/disapproval at the BoG meeting. When the appointment of Ruposhree, who was appointed before the BoG meeting, was brought to its consideration, the BoG said appointment of all others is approved other than Rupashree’s. “However, the director could not have interpreted it as disapproval because the board never said so and many others whose approval was pending were working in the institute,” the report says and adds BoG must take a fresh call on this.

It may be recalled that the Zero Hour committee of Bihar legislative assembly came out with a report in July, saying “Injustice was done to Ruposhree. The image of Bihar would be tarnished if she is not given justice.”