Delhi HC dismisses woman officer’s petition against Justice H.L. Dattu [Read the Order]

Delhi HC dismisses woman officer’s petition against Justice H.L. Dattu [Read the Order]

The Delhi High Court refused to interfere with the appointment of Justice H.L. Dattu as the next Chief Justice of India, on a petition  by an advocate and former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

A Delhi High Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog yesterday, dismissed a petition against Justice Dattu, stating that any attempt to directly confront the petitioner’s misconceptions would be a mistake, because the misconceptions are a product of intense suspicion and lengthy self-justification, and would further entrench her position if any attempt is made to confront her misconceptions. Courts are not meant for retribution.

The Bench added, “The pleadings and communications addressed by the petitioner bring out a trait of a category of litigants, who in their pursuit, send voluminous communications, and one finds that her requests have gradually shifts to demands and therefrom to recrimination and finally to threats. She has come to regard public figures as the central impediments to her quest and this explains self-righteousness and self-importance blurring the distinction between a fantasy and the real and thus the non- understanding of a difference between an ‘assertion’ and ‘evidence’.”

The petition reportedly demanded, "Quash recommendations reported to have been made by government, as council of ministers, to the President to appoint Justice HL Dattu as the Chief Justice of India." 

According to the judgment, the petitioner, was a member of the 1987 Batch of Executive Cadre Class I Officers under the Research and Analytical Wing until the year 2009, when she was compulsorily retired from service under a service rule which empowers the employer to retire from service a member of the service who ‘ exposes’ herself.

The petitioner had however, contended that she was a victim of conspiracy hatched against her by senior officers who were running a prostitution racket and were pushing her into the same. She had even named these officers.

She had got positive verdicts of reinstatement by the Central Administrative Tribunal. However, the orders passed by a bench of the Supreme Court in two petitions seeking Special Leave to Appeal , a Review Petition and a Writ Petition had frustrated the decision rendered by the CAT, which she construed as sexual harassment.

According to the Court, a perusal of the petition and the annexures portrayed a strong belief held by the petitioner that her employer has wronged her; and it is a trait of such persons, who strongly believe that they are wronged by others, to target all those whom they think are wrong in not accepting what they say.

The Court rejected her petition, observing, “The pleadings in the writ petition are a reflection of the petitioners feeling of being persecuted. In the absence of any facts which support such perceptions, the statements in the petition and the representations are a highly developed and organized set of beliefs, which lack any basis in fact and are without any objective evidence or rational argument. With passage of time the tenor of the representations to various authorities and pleadings in various proceedings filed by the petitioner have moved from persistence and have entered the zone of insolence.”

The Court even elaborated on the phrases that behaviourally affected persons use, hurling accusations. In the plea, the Bench also asserted that the difference between ‘assertion’ and ‘evidence’ is lost, stating, “Given the petitioner’s fixation to her beliefs she evinces the trait of increasingly turning to making a grandiose list of complaints and accompanying insults. The anger and contempt has turned into paranoia and delusions. As time has passed the petitioner has become rigid and suspicious. We find that the pattern of behaviour: pursuit of her personal grievances has seriously damaged the petitioner. Her grievances have steadily grown from the mundane to the grandiose, revealing grand fantasies of her ultimate vindication, unveiled dramatically before Courts.”