New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the arrest of St Stephen’s college professor Satish Kumar, accused of molesting a PhD student, till 17 August.
Justice Indermeet Kaur also issued notice to Delhi Police on 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 next date of hearing, 17 August, 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 on Thursday the complainant (girl) handed over tape of the conversation between accused and the principal in her presence and Kumar was heard influencing the college head.
The student had on 19 June 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.
Kumar’s counsel also contended that the student had written three complaints to the college principal and the institution’s Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) which also do not reflect any sexual harassment.
He said that anticipatory bail be granted as Kumar will cooperate fully with the ICC of St Stephen’s college and Delhi Police.
The lawyer contended that till date nothing incriminating has been found against the applicant so he be protected from arrest.
Hariharan also submitted that there is no chance of his client absconding.
However, Kumar’s plea was opposed by the public prosecutor and the victim’s advocate on the ground that the allegations against the assistant professor were very serious and that he was in a dominant position.
The police counsel said that the girl was allegedly molested by Kumar on 15 October, 2013, in the college laboratory and after this incident, he kept stalking her.
The counsel said that on the day of the incident, Kumar had called the girl at least 25 times on her mobile phone but she did not answer his calls and later tried to assure her that it will not happen again.