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HC stays Stephen's chem prof's arrest for allegedly molesting student

The Delhi high court today put on hold until 17 August the arrest of St Stephen’s chemistry teacher accused of molesting a doctoral student.

Justice Indermeet Kaur asked Delhi Police not to arrest Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the chemistry department, after he filed an anticipatory bail plea apprehending arrest.

Posting the matter for August 17, the court issued notice to city police and asked them to file a status report on the investigation in the case. The court also asked Kumar to join the investigation when asked by police.

Kumar moved the high court after a trial court on June 23 dismissed his anticipatory bail plea.

On a complaint from the student, police registered a case against Kumar on various charges, including stalking and sexual harassment.

In the FIR lodged on 19 June, the doctoral student said Satish Kumar “sexually assaulted” her on October 15, 2013, inside a laboratory.

According to the complaint, he also followed her to a Metro station close to the college after she moved away on freeing herself from the teacher’s clutches.

The student alleged that she was first harassed in May 2013 in the same laboratory where she was sexually assaulted. She said the harassment continued despite her resistance.

The Ph.D student said Kumar stopped guiding her in her research and kept a watch on her social media accounts. She accused college principal Valson Thampu of siding with the accused teacher.

In his plea, Satish Kumar, 40, termed the woman’s charges “concocted” and said there was not a single eyewitness to any of the alleged incidents.

He said there was no need to arrest him as he was ready to join investigation.

Satish Kumar’s counsel contended that the teacher could not have molested or followed the woman as he was 85 percent physically disabled and walked with the help of a stick.

Delhi Police opposed the bail plea, saying the allegations against Satish Kumar were “very serious”.

Police said the woman on Thursday handed over a tape of a conversation between Kumar and college principal in her presence, where Kumar was allegedly heard influencing Thampu.

In a statement earlier, St. Stephen’s said it was uncompromisingly committed to the safety and dignity of women on the campus and that no effort would be spared to ensure justice in the case.

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