DU lady staff suicide: Husband moves HC against police inaction

Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the police on charges of inaction leveled by the husband of a Delhi University college lab assistant who committed suicide by burning herself purportedly due to sexual harassment by the principal.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 27, 2013, 20:36 PM IST

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the police on charges of inaction leveled by the husband of a Delhi University college lab assistant who committed suicide by burning herself purportedly due to sexual harassment by the principal.

Taking note of the complaint, Justice Sunita Gupta issued notice to the police seeking their response by January 21 and also directed the agency to submit a status report of the ongoing investigation in the case.

Justice Gupta, meanwhile, directed the SHO to record the statement of the deceased`s husband and collect evidence from the university.

The court order came on the petition filed by the deceased`s husband, who had alleged that the college principal G K Arora had harassed his wife and made sexual advances, despite which the sexual harassment committee of the institute did not take any action.

35-year-old Pavitra Bhardwaj, a former lab assistant in the geography department of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College here had doused herself with kerosene and set herself on fire outside Delhi Secretariat in September this year. She sustained 90 per cent burns and was taken to the LNJP Hospital where she died.

Pavitra`s husband, a head constable in Delhi Police, had earlier said his wife had approached everyone from the university administration to the offices of Chief Minister, Lieutenant-Governor and the Human Rights Commission with her complaint.

"She put up a brave fight against the Principal, G K Arora (now under suspension), defending her honour and resisting his sexual advances repeatedly for five years (2009-13). Her pleas for help went unheeded merely because of the failure of her employer - `Bhim Rao Ambedkar College`...," the petition said.