Allahabad HC hands female assistant professor Rs 5 lakh fine over frivolous complaint

She moved court against three senior colleagues

allahabad high court pti (File) Allahabad High Court | PTI

A female assistant professor has been fined Rs 5 lakh by the Allahabad High Court for making a frivolous complaint against three senior colleagues who asked her to perform her duties carefully.

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics had filed a complaint against the Head Of the Department (HOD), the Dean, and the faculty of the Commerce Department after she received a poor work appraisal. The evaluation considered her work ‘less satisfactory’, her conduct ‘rude’ and her behaviour ‘not good’. 

The lady then went on to file complaints at different levels including an FIR under the IT Act. She also approached the Women’s Advisory Board alleging that her Facebook account had been hacked and her photographs downloaded besides her receiving anonymous e-mails. She also approached the Vice Chancellor and the Committee for Complaints Against Sexual Harassment. The provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 were also used in the complaints. 

However, detailed inquiries revealed that her social media accounts were never hacked, the e-mails seem to have come from someone close to her.

The court had been approached by one of the aggrieved parties to squash the complaints. While pronouncing its decision to do the same, the court observed that the complainant was in the habit of making complaints and that it was unbelievable that all three of her seniors could have a personal grudge against her. 

 The court noted “…the reputation and public image of the applicant and his colleagues, who are Professors and people with high morals and reputation, had been tarnished. They had to run from pillar to post...from police station to Court to save themselves. Evidently, this was false and frivolous case filed against the applicant only to wreak personal vengeance. Such kind of vexatious proceedings should not be allowed to continue and if anybody engages in doing so, such activities have to curbed down. This is a perfect case where exemplary cost should be imposed…”

The order further reads, “… she will not even think twice before using the S.C./S.T. Act as a weapon to enmesh them in criminal cases. If such kind of activities are not nipped in the bud, it will set a precedent where other members of the S.C. or the S.T. community will open start insubordination and the Head of Department will not be in a position to do anything, and when warned or admonished, cases under the S.C./S.T. will be foisted against them”. 

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