Professor Aloke Kumar Ghosal, who was the Dean of Academic Affairs in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati who was was arrested on December 16 following allegations of rape and sexual harassment from a woman employee of the same institution has reportedly been reinstated as an IIT professor through an order issued by the Gauhati High Court.
It may be recalled that Aloke Kumar Ghosal had joined the university as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering in December 2002 but was suspended by the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati after a non- teaching staff alleged him of molestation. Confirming this charge, Guwahati City SSP AK Tiwari said Ghosal had been booked under Section 376(2)(b) of the Indian Penal Code on December 16.
When the woman, a non-teaching employee of the IIT, had lodged an FIR with the Women Police Station, the accused, Ghosal had tried to run away by hiring a taxi, and was almost dramatically apprehended by the police from the Saraighat bridge on the Brahmaputra after his taxi was caught in a traffic jam.
Ghosal, who had joined IIT Guwahati in 2003, had earlier served as a professor in BITS, Pilani. Elevated to the HoD of Chemical Engineering in 2005, he was later also appointed Dean of Academic Affairs in 2012.
It becomes important to mention here that this was the second instance where an IIT-G professor faced allegations of sexual harassment. In September 2013, a professor was placed under suspension for allegedly harassing a female student through “unwarranted” messages sent through SMS. The professor however was absolved of the charges and was later reinstated after the complainant reportedly could not substantiate her allegations against him.
As per the HC judgement that was released on august 10, it was mentioned, ” the petitioner will stand reinstated in
service in his substantive post of Professor of Chemical Engineering. It is noted that
a stand is taken in the affidavit of the respondents, which is not disputed, that Dean Academic Affairs and In-charge of Peer Review Section are purely administrative posts offered at the prerogative of the Institute. It is provided that on reinstatement, it will not be necessary for the authorities to engage the service of the petitioner as Dean Academic Affairs and In-charge of Peer Review Section…”