NUJS Slapgate: No action taken against Assistant Professor involved; VC asks victim to take copy of Report on the incident via RTI

NUJS Slapgate: No action taken against Assistant Professor involved; VC asks victim to take copy of Report on the incident via RTI

Adreeka Pandey was allegedly slapped by Assistant Professor of Law, Dr. Lovely Dasgupta at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) campus on 30th April, 2013 for entering the exam hall late.  A ‘Fact Finding Body’ was constituted by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. P Ishwara Bhat, to inquire into this incident and a retired judge of the Calcutta High Court was appointed as the sole member of the Body.  However even after the report was submitted by the ‘Fact Finding Body’ and the same was placed before the Executive Council (EC) of NUJS, no action has been taken against the concerned persons involved.

Initially Pandey was promised by the Vice-Chancellor that, action would be taken against those involved once the ‘Fact Finding Body’ submits its report. However later Pandey came to know that the report will be first placed before the EC and the EC would take appropriate action. The report was placed before the EC on 15
th
of June, 2013 and till date Pandey has not been informed of any action taken.

Pandey says, “Vice Chancellor told me that a ‘stern warning’ was given to the persons involved but that will not compensate for the humiliation and trauma I suffered. After the incident I even suffered an asthma attack.” When Pandey asked Prof. Bhat for a copy of the report of the ‘Fact Finding Body’, she was asked to obtain one through an Right to Information (RTI) application.

Speaking to Live Law, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Bhat said, “Dr. Lovely Dasgupta has given a written apology and a ‘stern warning’ was also given to her. What more action is necessary?”. Reacting to this, Pandey says, “The University needs to frame guidelines for dealing with these kinds of incidents. When my incident occurred, the University had no clue as to how to go ahead with it. This should not happen again.”

Pandey describes the alleged incident as follows, “I was having my final semester exams on that day. The exam was schedule to begin at 10:00 AM and every student gets 15 minutes grace period to enter the exam hall. I entered the hall before 10:17 AM. Lovely Dasgupta was the invigilator in charge of the exam hall and she asked me to leave the exam hall for being late. I said I should be given a chance to explain why I was late but she insisted that I should leave the hall immediately. I was not allowed to speak and she called Vaneeta Patnaik, another Assistant Professor at NUJS to the hall and both of them held my hands first. Lovely Dasgupta then slapped me thrice in front of more than hundred students.”

The Vice-Chancellor was alerted about the incident immediately and he directed Pandey to write the exam. Pandey was allotted extra time also. After the exam, Pandey’s father (who was informed about the incident) accompanied her to meet the Vice-Chancellor, to lodge a complaint. Lovely Dasgupta was summoned to the Vice-Chancellor’s office and she apologized to Pandey for slapping her. Pandey was not willing to accept the apology offered and made it clear that disciplinary action should be taken against those involved else she would have no other option but to lodge an FIR.

Live Law made attempts to reach Lovely Dasgupta for her comments but she refused to talk on the issue.