Judicial officer harassment allegations: SC issues notice to Gujarat High Court

Judicial officer harassment allegations: SC issues notice to Gujarat High Court

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi has issued notice to the Registrar General of the Gujarat High Court, seeking response on the allegations of harassment by a woman Judicial Officer. She had also alleged that she was suspended for demanding proper accommodation and chamber facilities.

The Court issued the notice after it was informed that as advised earlier, the woman judicial officer had approached the High Court with her grievance petition but it was dismissed.

In the Special Leave Petition filed by a judicial officer, it is alleged that she faced colossal harassment during her eight year tenure as a Civil Judge in Gujarat. According to the petition, she was not only denied proper residential accommodation, but also transferred to six different places in seven years, after she voiced her grievances.

Recount the series of events, the officer was quoted as saying, "It revealed the hostile conditions created against the petitioner by the administration wherein she was not allotted a proper residential accommodation but was left with no option but to spend a night in her private vehicle as there was no residential accommodation, not even a room in an official guest house. Even the petitioner was deprived of a proper chamber with an attached toilet. Petitioner being a woman judicial officer had to share public toilet meant for litigants in the court complex."

She further alleged that despite invoking the Vishakha guidelines, she had no relief as the High Court had not constituted the committee mandatorily required to be set up under the Vishakha guidelines to address grievances of women employees.

Her complaint also alleges a nexus between the Senior Judges in the Sub-ordinate Courts with the leaders of Bar Associations. False complaints are administered against woman judges who do not fall prey to their vices. Such an attitude, according to the complainant, creates a hostile working atmosphere within the judiciary.