Harassed judge calls for fresh probe panel

Woman judicial officer urges SC to reinstate her

Harassed judge calls for fresh probe panel

A woman judge, who had resigned after levelling sexual harassment charges against a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge, on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to reinstate her and quash the present committee that was formed to look into her complaint.

The Gwalior judge sought that a new panel comprising chief justices of two different high courts, a high court judge and one external member be formed to look into her charges.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising sought an urgent hearing on the woman judge’s petition from a three-judge bench of Chief Justice R M Lodha. The bench, however, suggested that the former additional district and sessions judge on Thursday take her petition before another bench headed by Justice J S Khehar.

In her plea before the apex court, the woman judge sought her reinstatement and all the consequential benefits of terming her resignation a “constructive termination”. 

She also wanted that her transfer out of Gwalior to Sidhi, in the middle of her daughter’s academic career, be declared “unlawful, illegal, non est and mala fide”. The woman judge had resigned on July 15, almost a week after her transfer.

After the woman judge had complained of sexual harassment, the chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on August 8 ordered the formation of a panel to probe the issue. 

In an earlier complaint before the chief justice of India, she had accused the administrative judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court of demanding sexual favours. 

She had alleged that he wanted her to “dance to an item number” after showing “more than normal interest” in her work. The judge in question, however, rejected the charges and offered to face death penalty if the allegations were found to be true.

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