The Delhi High Court stayed the arrest of St Stephen's College professor Satish Kumar, accused of molesting a PhD student, till August 17 as was reported earlier on Friday. The episode has an altogether new twist now.
She has claimed that she was pressurised to drop the sexual harassment complaint, NDTV reported.
However, on Friday, July 3, Justice Indermeet Kaur issued notice to Delhi Police on Satish Kumar's plea directing it to file a status report with regard to the progress made in the investigation of the case before next date of hearing.
"Notice. Status report be filed by the respondent (Delhi Police). Meanwhile, the petitioner (Kumar) should join the investigation as and when asked by the respondent," the judge said, adding that till the next date of hearing, ie August 17, the petitioner will not be arrested.
The Court's order came on the plea filed by Kumar, an assistant professor in the college's Chemistry Department, challenging the trial court's June 23 order by which the relief sought by him was declined.
Senior advocate N Hariharan, appearing for Kumar, sought anticipatory bail, claiming that the allegations levelled by the girl were 'concocted' and there was not a single eyewitness to any of the incidents mentioned in the complaint.
Hariharan, also assisted by advocate Nitin Kumar Swaroop, informed the court that most of the allegations levelled by the girl were of October 2013 and the mail she had annexed in the complaint clearly says that her work was not in progress so she had sought help from the accused.
"No allegation of molestation was levelled in the mail or the complaint she (girl) wrote to the college principal. The allegation levelled in the FIR were false and fabricated," Kumar's counsel said.
Kumar's plea for relief also stated that the professor could not have molested or followed the girl as he was 85 per cent physically disabled and walked with the help of a stick.
However, the counsel appearing for Delhi Police opposed Kumar's anticipatory bail saying yesterday the complainant (girl) handed over a tape of the conversation between accused and the principal in her presence and Kumar was heard influencing the college head.
The student had on June 19 lodged an FIR against 40-year-old Kumar, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by him and that the college principal tried to protect him when the matter was reported to the college authorities.
Meanwhile, Delhi University said it is the college's internal matter and the varsity has no say in it.
"St Stephen's college is a minority institution run by the Church of North India. It is an internal matter of the college which has to be dealt by them in accordance with the act of Parliament on sexual harassment. DU has no say in the matter and the college's Governing Body (GB) is the supreme administrative body to take any action in this regard," a senior varsity official told PTI.
The HRD ministry has also refused to intervene in the matter saying such issues are to be handled by the institution's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as per Supreme Court guidelines.
(With inputs from PTI)