Judge found guilty of sexual harassment, dismissed

Judge found guilty of sexual harassment, dismissed

 The High Court has dismissed a district judge after an inquiry report concluded that there was truth in the charges that he had sexually harassed women employees who had worked under him in various courts during 2008 and 2011.

After a four-year-long probe on a complaint, the High Court on January 22, 2016, dismissed A N Hakeem (57), who was working in Belagavi district.

After perusing the inquiry report submitted in July 2015, the Full Court of the High Court on November 20, 2015, decided to terminate the services of Hakeem who had joined the judicial service as a munsif in 1987.

The probe report, which runs into around 70 pages, stated that Hakeem used to make women employees watch pornographic videos and photos on his official laptop, official sources said.

Hakeem was dismissed after the Inquiry Authority (IA) concluded that his conduct was “unbecoming of a judicial officer” and also amounted to “misconduct” in accordance with the provisions of the Karnataka Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, the sources said.

On November 1, 2011, the then Chief Justice of the High Court received an anonymous letter that stated that women staff were being sexually harassed by Hakeem.
Subsequently, the Chief Justice directed the Vigilance Cell of the High Court to conduct a preliminary inquiry.

After the inquiry was ordered, a woman employee of the judicial department lodged a complaint against Hakeem with the Vigilance Cell on November 8, 2011, accusing him of sexual harassment.

The complaint was serious in nature as the woman had mentioned that Hakeem was forcing women staff to watch pornographic video clips and photos on his official laptop.

Pornographic content
As part of the inquiry, the laptop was seized. With the help of experts, engineers of the High Court’s computer wing retrieved pornographic content stored in the laptop.

As the inquiry progressed, many women employees who had worked under him in different courts between 2008 and 2011 explained how they had been sexually harassed by the judge.

They also narrated how he had misbehaved with them both in his chambers in the court as well as his residence when they had been summoned there for taking dictation.
According to sources, Hakeem raised certain objections during the inquiry claiming that some materials were “inserted” into his laptop by others though he could not provide any evidence of it, sources said.

Citing guidelines of the Supreme Court in the case of Apparel Export Promotion Council of India Vs A K Chopra as well as the orders in the Vishaka case, the Inquiry Authority finally
concluded that the material was sufficient to prove the charge of sexual harassment against Hakeem, the sources said.

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