Woman professor sues Kolkata's St Xavier's University; says forced to quit over Insta pics
A former assistant professor of Kolkata’s St Xavier’s University has alleged that she has been asked to pay Rs 99 crore in damages, and that she sent a legal notice to the premiere institute. This comes after a guardian of a student complained about her “objectionable” photos on Instagram, following which she was made to face a committee. She then stepped down from her position as assistant professor.
The professor is also an alumna of St Xavier’s. She told India Today that the administration summoned her and asked her to resign over the complaint of an undergraduate student’s parents. The complaint stated that the professor had “posed in a sexually explicit way, causing deliberate public exposure”. “To look at a teacher dressed in her undergarments uploading pictures on social media is utterly shameful for me as a parent, since I have tried to shield my son from this kind of gross indecency and objectification of the female body. It is obscene, vulgar and improper for an 18-year-old student to see his professor dressed in scanty clothes exhibiting her body on a public platform,” it stated.
The professor said that the picture was from a story on the app, and not a post. She said that it was uploaded long before the university gave her an offer, and that her account is private. “I wanted to know how my picture was accessed. I was told that there is a code of conduct and a dress code. I told them that it is restricted only to the university premises," she said.
She added that she was made to face a committee with the registrar of the university and the vice chancellor, Father Felix Raj. She alleged that after the meeting, the complaint was read out to her and she was forced to quit.
However, a day before stepping down she filed a police complaint, stating that pictures from her Instagram account have been leaked. The police refused to register an FIR, but after writing to the Kolkata Police Commissioner, an FIR was filed against unknown people.
After that she sent a legal notice to the university asking for a copy of the complaint of the guardian, along with documents regarding the committee meeting. The university has said that her legal notice is an “ill-motivated” and “dishonest” attempt to open a closed case, and has sought an ‘unconditional apology’, along with Rs 99 crore for causing “irreparable damage” to the university.
The professor said that she has sought an apology from the university for their wrong-doing, and that she will move the Calcutta High Court over it.