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University professor files Rs 1-crore defamation suit against colleagues

One of the two colleagues had filed a case against her in 2010, alleging that she had used casteist slurs, threatened to kill him, and snatched his gold chain; the woman, who was cleared of the charges, says she wants justice

An associate professor attached to the Department of Physical Education, University of Mumbai, has filed a defamation suit of R1.01 crore in the Bombay High Court against two of her colleagues. The accused, Vishwambar Jadhav and Nilesh Lohar, are both assistant professors in the same department.

mid-day’s January 8 report on Kadhivaran being cleared of allegations made against her
mid-day’s January 8 report on Kadhivaran being cleared of allegations made against her

The complainant is Dr Vasanthi Kadhiravan, against whom Jadhav had filed a case in October 2010, alleging that she had used casteist slurs against him. He had also alleged that she had threatened to strangle them to death, and taken away their gold chain and educational certificates.

Lohar had then testified that he had witnessed the woman delivering these threats and insults. On December 2, 2013, Vasanthi was acquitted by the High Court in a judgment order stating that the prosecution had failed to prove the allegations in the 2010 case.

The special court for prevention of atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes had found: “In fact, it has not come on record that it was the accused who has abused the complainant on the day by referring to his caste with the intention to insult him, and the main witness Lohar of the prosecution in this respect has not supported the case of the prosecution.”

‘Mental agony’
The assistant professor is now dragging the duo to court for causing mental agony. “Students are instigated by Vishambhar Jadhav to level allegations against me, so that they get more internal marks, even though they don’t attend classes. He also sends mails to the authorities levelling false allegations against me,” Vasanthi said.

“I have attended each and every hearing of the case filed by Jadhav, but I now want justice and will fight this case till the end,” she added. According to her, Jadhav used to work as a temporary lecturer-cum-sports coordinator, and was discontinued on disciplinary grounds based on a report of a three-member inquiry team appointed by the then vice chancellor on June 17, 2009.

He is still working in the same department. Lohar, too, has a murky past. He was arrested in December 2012 in a sexual harassment case filed by another colleague and was suspended soon after. The university reinstated him in April this year, even though the case is still going on.

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