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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Loyola College told to pay Rs 64.30 lakh to woman ex-staffer for sexual harassment by Fr. S. Xavier Alphonse

The Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women has ordered Chennai’s Loyola College to pay Rs 64,30,000 to a former staffer towards damages for sexual harassment, mental agony and in back wages.

Loyola College has been asked to pay the compensation with interest with immediate effect.

In its order, the Commission said the Loyola College had terminated the victim’s service abruptly without any reason, though her track record was found to be very good.

“For the kind of trauma and physical and sexual abuse she has been submitted to, she has to be adequately compensated expeditiously,” Chairperson Kannegi Packianathan said in her order.

“This is a suo moto decision taken by the Commission and hence the above decision has to be implemented immediately,” the order said.

“The Commission hereby orders to pay back wages and compensation with interest for harassment mentally and sexually,” it said.

According to the Commission’s order, during the enquiry, it was found that donations received from old students are received by the Loyola College Society and not in a separate Alumni Funds Account, and it said that such funds should find place in a separate account duly registered under the Societies Act.

In a case filed in the Madras High Court in 2016, the victim had said trouble for her began when she started questioning the dubious methods used by the Director, Alumni Association, Rev Fr. Xavier Alphonse SJ, to siphon off amounts close to about Rs 1 crore lying in the corpus of the Loyola Alumni Association to a personal trust run by him elsewhere.

According to the victim, the Loyola College had asked her not to report for duty till Alphonse is shifted to some other institution but even after he was shifted, she was not asked to resume duty.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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