Nagpur: Dharmesh Dhawankar, Head of the Department of Mass Communication of Nagpur University, who is facing extortion charges, has been sent on leave till January 7 by Vice Chancellor Subhash Chaudhari.
NU officials have also said that the VC acted after Maharashtra legislative council deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe had asked Dhawankar to suspend her till the inquiry against her was completed.
Subhash Chaudhari had already completely rejected the explanation presented by Dhawankar, who was accused by 7 HODs of demanding money. And Dhawankar had also responded to the showcase notice much after the deadline had passed. Denying all the allegations, he termed these allegations as a conspiracy to defame him.
Officials have also said that the VC has decided to keep him away from the limelight as the session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly is scheduled to begin in the city on December 18. Additionally, NU will also be hosting the Indian Science Congress from 3rd to 7th of January and the VC absolutely did not want any controversy till then.
Vice-Chancellor has just handed over the probe to retired Justice
“If any question is raised in the assembly, then Chowdhury will at least have a face-saving reply. There is also pressure on the VC to save Dhawankar from a former guardian minister.” NU sources said.
Meanwhile, after the Pravina Khobragade panel, lawyer Sumit Joshi has also refused to conduct an inquiry against Dhawankar. In his letter to NU, Joshi said, “The Heads of Departments had mentioned the demand of Rs 15.50 lakh by Dhawankar to settle his complaint with two lawyers on the NU panel.”
“I am also one of the lawyers on the panel. My conclusions will always be under the shadow of doubt. Speculations are already rife that the NU administration is trying its best to shield the accused. So, I have decided to say no.” Joshi told TOI.
The Vice-Chancellor has just handed over the probe to retired Justice Ajay Chintaman Chafle, who was earlier appointed to the grievance redressal cell of the university. He also retired as District Judge-1 and Additional Sessions Judge at Yavatmal.