‘Unable to Proceed Further’: Committee Probing Vinod Dua Dissolved
Dua said he will neither cross-examine Nishtha Jain on her sexual harassment charges nor be cross-questioned by her.
The external committee set up by The Wire to enquire into the sexual harassment allegation against its consulting editor Vinod Dua has been dissolved citing difficulties in being “able to proceed further”, The Wire said on 31 December.
According to The Wire’s statement, the probe report notes, “it does not have the unconditional consent of both sides, which alone can be the source of its authority to proceed further in the matter.”
The committee was constituted on 17 October, 2018 after filmmaker Nishtha Jain had accused Dua of “slobbering all over her face” in his car in her office’s parking area in 1989. She also alleged that Dua stalked her in the following days.
The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of The Wire had taken cognisance of the allegation but had established an external committee to look into the matter saying that it was unable to deal with the allegations in a factual way since “neither Jain nor Dua were employees of The Wire at the time the alleged incident of harassment is said to have taken place.”
The external committee report was sent to The Wire and both the parties on 30 December. According to the report, it was making “it absolutely clear that it is not commenting upon any allegations made by the complainant nor on the counter allegations made by the respondent against the complainant, and the pleas taken by him in his defence.”
The report mentioned that the committee had initiated probe after receiving a written complaint from Nishtha Jain and sought Vinod Dua’s rejoinder to that, and a further reply from Jain.
According to The Wire’s statement, Dua was willing to answer any questions to the committee but “he said he would neither cross-examine Jain nor agree to be cross-examined by her.”
The statement points out that the committee’s report had “expressed her misgivings and raised questions relating to the manner in which the External Committee had been constituted and the fact that the Committee would itself be framing its own Terms of Reference and procedures.”
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