The entrance of Loyola College in Chennai, capital of India's Tamil Nadu state. (Photo: Wikipedia)
A government body has asked a Jesuit-run college in southern India's Tamil Nadu state to pay 6.4 million rupees (US$87,000) to a woman teacher as back wages and compensation for sexual harassment.
The Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women's ruling has surprised Loyola College in state capital Chennai, said its lawyer Godson Swaminathan.The commission on Dec. 22 ordered the college to compensate Mary Rajasekaran, a former employee, "with immediate effect."The commission said it was a suo moto decision and directed the college management to comply with its decision immediately. "We are surprised to see the commission order," Swaminathan told UCA News on Dec. 24.
"Once a higher court is seized with a matter, legally it is not possible for a parallel trial," he said, questioning the commission's power to run a parallel trial on the matter and pronounce a judgment."We will inform the state High Court about this order when it reopens after the Christmas vacation," he said.
The teacher accused Father Xavier Alphonse of sexually abusing her but has not provided any evidence to substantiate her claims. The Jesuit priest was the college's principal for three years till 1995.The woman also accused the college management of arbitrarily terminating her services after she opposed alleged financial mismanagement in the college.