MP Judge Harassment allegations: Woman Judge approaches SC against panel setup to probe her complaint

MP Judge Harassment allegations: Woman Judge approaches SC against panel setup to probe her complaint

The female Additional District Judge from Gwalior, who had levelled allegations against a Madhya Pradesh High Court Judge for sexual harassment, has now approached the Supreme Court, questioning the judicial panel which will probe into her complaint. The female Judge demanded setting up a committee comprising two Chief Justices and one Judge of High Courts.

She had also pleaded that her resignation is a "constructive termination" and she be reinstated will all consequential benefits.

CJI Lodha had urged the formation of a panel comprising of senior Judges in order to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment. Read the Live Law story here.

The case was mentioned before a bench comprising of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Kurian Joseph ad Justice Rohinton Nariman who informed the female Judge that the issue has already been assigned to another bench headed by Justice J.S. Khehar and that she should approach that bench. It was brought by Senior advocate Indira Jaising.

Since Justice Khehar wasn’t available, her plea would be taken up on Thursday.

The petition reportedly stated, "Chief Justice of India in his administrative capacity constitute a committee comprising two Chief Justices from outside the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and another High Court judge and also an external non-judicial member to enquire into her complaint.”She urged that the High Court order of August 8 constituting the panel should be quashed as she felt that it would not do justice to her.

She demanded that the Chief Justice of India to comply with the house procedure adopted by a full court meeting of the Supreme Court on December 15, 1999, as per the Visakha guidelines on combating sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Judge had earlier asserted that she would not co-operate with the panel set up to investigate the charges. The woman Judge asserts in her letter to the panel that “until the committee is reconstituted and her queries answered, she won’t appear before the panel on Tuesday.”

She contended that until the MP High Court Judge continues to assume his post, the witnesses would not be able to depose in a free and fair manner. She further alleges that one of the two members in the panel had once transferred her and that might lead to prejudice in the investigation. Read the LiveLaw story here.

In an appalling revelation, the female Judge has alleged being sexually harassed by her administrative Judge. She subsequently had to resign to guard her “dignity, womanhood and self-esteem”. Read the LiveLaw story here.

The HC Judge has however 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”.

A few female lawyers have demanded an impeachment proceeding against the Judge. They have reportedly moved a resolution in the Supreme Court Bar Association demanding an enquiry into the matter.

Read more news about the issue here.