Punjab Ombudsman upholds Sargodha University’s decision in harassment case


SARGODHA: The Provincial Ombudsman upheld the decision of Sargodha University’s (SU) Syndicate regarding a sacked professor after he was proven guilty of sexual harassment of a student.

The alleged assistant professor was prosecuted under the Act of Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace.

Rejecting the appeal of the professor, the Punjab Ombudsman concluded that forensically verified communication record proved that alluring messages were sent by the accused to the complainant for a considerable period, said a press release issued by SU here Tuesday.

His plea that he had not been heard by the committee was founded to be false while according to records submitted by the university his attendance in all committee proceedings was proven.

The accused professor’s appeal failed to point out any illegality or material irregularity during the process of inquiry and hence was rejected.

Dr Sajid Iqbal, ex-assistant professor of Mathematics at the university’s Bhakkar sub-campus, had filed an appeal at the Office of the Ombudsman (Mohtasib) Punjab, which alleged that he was not properly heard by the harassment committee and that copies of records were not provided to him.

He also contended in his plea that the matter of telephonic messages between the complainant and the appellant was a private matter, instigated by the complainant herself.

Earlier, after the complaint of the girl student, the director of the Bhakkar sub-campus had constituted the committee.

The committee after initial probe, referred the case to another committee constituted by the university for harassment cases, for a thorough inquiry under the above-mentioned law.

Sajid was called repeatedly and was communicated the proofs against him but failed to prove his innocence.

After investigating the case and examining the validity of the SMS of both parties, the statement of the complainant, video on social media and forensic analysis of mobile phone data, the committee found that the professor had maliciously approached the girl student and was guilty of sexual harassment.