Monday, 7 February 2005

Birth of A.V. Nagarajan’s Impugned Report

For the sexual harassment faced by us we had already approached the Pondicherry Police and the National Commission for Women, New Delhi. Both these statutory institutions were already investigating the matter. But when on 19.09.2004 the police came to arrest Girish Panda in the afternoon, the trustees woke up to the fact that they had better cover their backs.

In the evening at about 5.00 p.m. when I went to Ambabhikshu House the Managing Trustee had pasted a back dated notice of enquiry dated 11.09.2004 informing all and sundry about the enquiry proposed to be conducted by the trustees through Mr. A.V. Nagarajan, which consisted of three phases which in fact amounted to
  1. Sexual harassment as alleged by us against the named inmates
  2. Some complaints against us by other named inmates
  3. Anyone who had a complaint

On 19.09.2004 we wrote a letter to Manoj Das Gupta, Managing Trustee of Ashram, to stop this enquiry since Pondicherry police and NCW were already investigating the case. But he did not desist. The notice was placed on a makeshift notice board at the entrance of Ambabhikshu and in a way whereby passersby on the road could see it clearly.

Thereafter on 28.10.2004 we received summons from A.V. Nagarajan for the first phase of the enquiry - Sexual harassment as alleged by us against a few named inmates. We immediately informed him that he should not conduct an enquiry because NCW and police were looking into the matter. He also paid no heed to us and proceeded as planned. We did not participate because more competent authorized were apprised of our case.

We saw that a chained mental box appeared on a pillar beside the makeshift notice board and a notice was put up relating to the third phase of the enquiry - anyone who had a complaint. Thereafter for over a month A.V. Nagarajan collected complaints. This was an exercise to fabricate complaints against us. Inmates, residents of Ambabhiskhu House as well as non-residents, were pressurized by the trustees, Matriprasad and other henchmen, to give false complaints against us.

Subsequently A.V. Nagarajan issued us notice for the second and third phases of enquiry - some complaints against us by other named inmates & anyone who had a complaint. His notice did not contain the charges that we were supposed to refute and because we could not participate in an enquiry blindfolded, we abstained.

Today we have received a show cause notice dated 24.01.2005 from the trustees enclosing a copy of A.V. Nagarajan’s report dated 10.01.2005. This show-cause notice contains no charges framed against us. Brief perusal of the report also indicates no specific charges leveled against us. In fact the report contains and only gives synopsis of statements, hearsay and assumptions. Pending court proceedings, Nirmal Swain had appeared and participated in the enquiry. He also produced sub-judice documents which are totally irrelevant to the enquiry being conducted. As a lawyer he knows fully well his illegal act. His license to practice should be revoked.

We also found that an incomplete report had been furnished to us since we are not given the statements and documents which form part of the report. Trustees are again resorting to mischief and acting in their usual highhanded manner and suppress our complaints of sexual harassment completely in order to protect their henchmen.