This Article is From Aug 04, 2014

Alleging Sexual Harassment By High Court Judge, a Junior Judge Quits

Alleging Sexual Harassment By High Court Judge, a Junior Judge Quits

FILE photo: Chief Justice of India RM Lodha

New Delhi: A woman additional judge in Gwalior has resigned alleging sexual harassment by a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The judge asked her to "dance to an item song" and influenced her transfer to a remote location, she has alleged in a complaint to the President, the Chief Justice of India and the Union Law Minister.

Chief Justice of India RM Lodha told NDTV on Monday morning, "I haven't received the complaint officially... once I get it I will go through the complaint. Normally we ask for a report on the complaint from the Chief Justice of the High Court. In this case, I will seek a report from the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court and take action accordingly. I will do my best for the institution."

The additional judge resigned on July 15 and wrote to the CJI and others on August 1, Friday evening. "If this is how a mother, sister and wife can be treated, who is herself no less than a judicial officer duty-bound to protect society and law, what constitutional goals are we serving?" said the woman, who ironically headed a Vishaka committee against sexual harassment.

She has alleged that the High Court judge constantly pestered her and once sent her a message through an official to "perform dance on an item song" at a function at his home. She said she excused herself saying it was her daughter's birthday.

She also alleged that when she spurned the judge's "various advances and malicious aspirations", he targeted her professionally. "The administrative judge, along with district judge and district judge (inspection), possibly made a false, frivolous, baseless and malicious reporting to the chief justice of MP and got me transferred on July 8, in the mid-academic session of my daughters to a remote place Sidhi by overruling the transfer policy of MP HC," she has complained.

She said her appeal for an eight-month extension to allow her daughter's academic year to finish was rejected and has alleged that the judge threatened to "spoil my career completely," when she pleaded against the transfer.

"I was left with no option but to resign, so, I resigned on July 15 in compelling, humiliating and disgraceful circumstances to save my dignity, womanhood, self-esteem and career of my daughter," she has written.