Abuse case hearing posted on March 29

MYSORE: The University sexual harassment inquiry committee on Friday posted the hearing to March 29 after the accused Shivabasavaiah deposed before it.

Though the zoology professor, who is now suspended, sought one month’s time, the probe panel turned it down and allowed him 17 days to file a written reply. During the next hearing, research scholar M Saritha, who is now discharged from the private hospital, is likely to be summoned for examination and cross-examination.

In the absence of panel head K Yashodara, member of the committee Swaranamala presided over the hearing. Shivabasavaiah deposed before the panel for an hour. This follows a notice issued to him on Tuesday. “We have posted the matter to March 29,” Swaranamala said. “He asked for one month’s time but since we have been asked to expedite the probe, we allotted him about two weeks,” she stated.

One of the panel members told TOI that Shivabasavaiah said he was in tension and hence needed at least one month’s time. The panel told him he would be given one week’s time. But Shivabasavaiah said he needed counselling and medical care following which he was given additional time, the member, who didn’t want to be named, explained.

The committee had also issued a notice to research scholar Saritha to appear before it on Friday. However, Saritha’s husband sought more time, which was allowed. According to him, the notice reached them at around 3pm on Thursday, and since Saritha is still recovering, they could not make it on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Mysore University Dalit Employees Association has stated in a release that a fair probe should be conducted into the incident. It termed the suspension of Shivabasavaiah when probe is still on as a denial of natural justice.



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