Officer Who Alleged Sex Harassment By High Court Judge To Be Reinstated [10.2.2022]

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10.2.2022, New Delhi, Thursday

New Delhi: 

A woman judicial officer who quit in 2014 alleging sex harassment by High Court judge to be reinstated, the Supreme Court said today. The judge had sought reinstatement on the grounds that she was forced to resign in 2014.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai set aside the order accepting her resignation and directed her reinstatement as additional district judge in the Madhya Pradesh judiciary.

The top court, however, said that she would not be entitled to back wages.

The woman, in her plea, has said that the high court had ignored the categorical finding in the report of the Judges Inquiry Committee dated December 15, 2017, terming the petitioner's resignation dated July 15, 2014, from her post of Additional District Judge "unbearable circumstances having no other option".

In July 2014, the woman had written letters to the President, the Chief Justice and Union Law Minister detailing her alleged harassment. She then resigned from her post as additional district judge in Gwalior.

In the letters, she said that the High Court judge asked her to dance to an item song. The woman also claimed that the judge had influenced her transfer to a remote location. 

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. 

[See Legal Eagle 2022 (SC) 158]

10 Feb 2022