Former Gwalior judge seeks new enquiry committee
A former additional district judge in Gwalior Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to quash the enquiry committee set up by the Madhya Pradesh chief justice to probe the allegation of sexual harassment made by her against a high court judge.
A bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, however, asked the petitioner to raise her plea before the bench headed by Justice J.S. Khehar on Thursday after senior counsel Indira Jaisinh and M.L. Lahoty again mentioned the matter in the court's post-lunch sitting.
Earlier when the matter was mentioned, Chief Justice Lodha directed the petitioner judge to go before the court of Justice Khehar. However, it was later found he was on leave.
The former judge has urged Chief Justice Lodha to set up a three-judge committee that would comprise the chief justices of a high court other than of Madhya Pradesh and a judge to probe her allegation.
She has also sought her reinstatement to the post from which she had resigned under duress after suffering the alleged sexual harassment. She has also sought that the judge she has blamed not be given any judicial or administrative work till the probe was over.
Earlier, the woman, in her letter to Chief Justice Lodha had given the details of the way she was harassed by the high court judge, who was also the administrative in-charge of Gwalior.
She has alleged that she was posted to a remote area after she declined the judge's request to dance to an item song at a function at his home.
The woman judge, who had resigned alleging sexual harassment by the high court judge, had Aug 14 in a communication to the secretary, Inquiry Committee had objected to the presence of Justice Ajit Singh as head of the probe committee set up hold preliminary inquiry into her allegations.
The copy of this letter, also sent to Chief Justice Lodha, had said that it was Justice Ajit Singh who took the decision to transfer her to Sidhi - to which she had objected. The high court judge in question was holding administrative charge of the subordinate courts in Gwalior district.
"It is my contention that the transfer was a measure of punishment for my resisting sexual advances made to me by the high court judge in question. Hence it is an act of victimisation which led to my resignation under duress. He is, therefore, disqualified on the grounds of bias from being the member of the committee," the woman said in her communication as she expressed her inability to appear before its first sitting that was scheduled Aug 19.
(Posted on 26-08-2014)