Kolkata: The National Commission for Women on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing the selection of Visva Bharati university Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Datta Gupta for the prestigious Padmashree award saying he was accused of sexually harassing a lady professor.
In the letter, NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma said declaring him as a Padmashree awardee completely overlooked the history of his sexual harassment of a woman colleague during his tenure at the Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences in Kolkata during 2004.
She said that Datta Gupta was found guilty of sexual harassment by a ministerial committee set up by the Minister of Science and Technology in 2005.
"Serious vigilance enquiries are pending on him at the Central Vigilance Commission and also at the Ministry of Human Resource Development for his alleged misappropriation of funds etc," she said.
Sharma also cited a complaint from the West Bengal`s Women`s Commission which stated that such an award and his appointment as VC would only encourage offences against women.
"I, therefore, request you to kindly intervene in the matter so that appropriate action may be initiated against him as per the Visakha guidelines of the Supreme Court and the Act of Parliament," Sharma said in the letter to the PM.
Last month, the West Bengal Women`s Commission chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee had written to NCW, PM and President demanding withdrawal of Padmashree to Datta Gupta and his removal him from the post of VC of the central university located in Rabindranath Tagore`s abode of Shantinektan in West Bengal.
Visva Bharati`s former VC Prof Rajat Kanta Ray has demanded his removal saying his holding of the prestigious post was an "insult to Tagore".