NUJS Intern Deposed before SC Panel
The NUJS intern, who alleged sexual harassment against a retired Judge deposed before the Supreme Court panel of Justice RM Lodha, HL Dattu and Ranjana P Desai formed by Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam to inquire into the matter. It took about two and half hours to finish the proceedings
Ravindra Maithani, Secretary General of the apex court revealed that " "The committee held its meeting today and the law intern appeared before it. She has completed the recording of her statement. The law intern has requested maintenance of confidentiality of her statement. The next date of meeting is fixed for November 20,"
However many questions are now raised about the authority of the Supreme Court Panel to inquire in to the matter. “It now appears certain that the Judge retired in February 2012 and the alleged incident took place in Dec.2012. Will the in-house committee have the mandate to probe the incident?” Senior Journalist V. Venkatesan asks in his blog. “The present situation may be entirely unprecedented as the in-house committee was considered only in the context of probing charges against sitting Judges” he says.
Advocate Krishnamani, President of Supreme Court Bar Association, also questioned the method of inquiry. He has demanded an independent inquiry. Reacting to Economic Times, he asked “These judges have lunches and dinners every other day with each other”. “How can we be sure judges will be completely dispassionate when it comes to determining whether a fellow judge has behaved inappropriately?” asked Prasanth Buhushan. He also demanded that there should have been an independent committee.