It has been more than a week since a Gwalior Additional District Judge alleged advances from an MP High Court Judge and resigned in order to save herself from the incessant harassment. Read the LiveLaw story here.
Chief Justice of India, R.M. Lodha has now asked the Madhya Pradesh High Court to investigate the Judge accused of sexually harassing and victimizing a woman judge. A panel of senior judges has been set up.
The HC Judge has denied all allegations and has reportedly offered to face any probe by any agency including an investigating agency, ready to “face any penalty, even the death penalty”.
In conversation with Live Law, activist and lawyer Vrinda Grover pointed towards the seriousness of the issue and stated, “There is sexual harassment within the legal system and there should be a remedy available for that person. Today as it stands, there is no mechanism where this Judicial Officer could’ve voiced her complaint against the Judge of the High Court… Not only is this a very very serious impediment for women Judicial officers and for women lawyers and other women practicing and engaged with the legal profession, but I think it attacks the integrity, the credibility and the confidence that women will have in the entire Judiciary.”
Senior lawyer Indira Jaising opined, “MP’s should initiate impeachment proceedings against the judge.” She also said that the Chief Justice of India should order an inquiry on his own, in the matter.
Jaising stated that the women Judge’s resignation letter shouldn’t be accepted and if it is accepted, it will be the blackest day in the Indian Judiciary. She added that the Judge in question shouldn’t be assigned more duty in any capacity.
For the first time in December, the apex Court had conducted an internal inquiry into sexual harassment allegations by a law intern against a former Judge. No further action could however be taken as the judge had since retired.
Another retired Supreme Court Judge in January was accused by an intern of sexual harassment.
Read more about the allegations and inquiry here.