A woman who was a judge in Madhya Pradesh and had resigned from office over four years ago after alleging sexual harassment by a judge at the Madhya Pradesh High Court stands a chance to be reinstated.
The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Registrar General of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on her reinstatement as a lower court judge. The notice came on a day when a Bombay High Court judge came out in support of the #MeToo movement and said even the judiciary is plagued with "rampant sexism and the culture of patriarchy".
In December last year, the high court judge was given a clean chit by a Rajya Sabha-appointed panel that probed the charges of sexual harassment against him. The panel had found no basis in the charge that the judge misused his position to use the lower judiciary to harass the complainant.
58 parliamentarians had supported a motion to impeach the Madhya Pradesh High Court judge.
The woman had resigned as an additional district judge in Gwalior in July 2014 after detailing her alleged harassment in letters to the President, the Chief Justice and Union Law Minister. She said in the letters that the judge had asked her to "dance to an item song" and influenced her transfer to a remote location.
The ex-district judge recently challenged the clean chit to her senior and approached the top court with a request to reinstate her.
The lawmakers who signed the impeachment motion against the judge include Digvijaya Singh of the Congress, Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M), Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress and Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party.