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Judge Harassment Case: SC Stays Functioning of HC-Appointed Panel

File- Jitender Gupta

The Supreme Court today issued notice to a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge against whom sexual harassment allegations were levelled by a woman Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) who later resigned.

A bench headed by Justice J S Khehar, which also sought responses from the Secretary General of the Supreme Court and Registrar General of the High Court, stayed the functioning of a panel, formed by the Chief Justice of the MP High Court to look into the complaint of the former woman judge.

"In the meantime, the order dated August 8 (of the CJ of HC) shall remain stayed," the bench said.

The former Gwalior judge, who had resigned alleging sexual harassment by the High Court judge, had moved the apex court raising questions over the judicial panel to look into her complaint.

She has sought setting up a committee comprising two Chief Justices and one judge of High Courts to probe her allegations against the HC judge.

In her plea, she has said that her resignation is a "constructive termination" and she be reinstated with all consequential benefits.

In her petition, she said the HC order of August 8 constituting a judicial panel should be quashed as she felt it will not do justice to her.

"Chief Justice of India in his administrative capacity constitute a committee comprising two Chief Justices from outside the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and another High Court judge and also an external non-judicial member to enquire into her complaint," the petition said.

She had earlier also raised objections to the inclusion of a High Court judge in the committee set up to go into her complaint.

She had said the judge, who had harassed her sexually, was still discharging judicial and administrative functions over the staff who were working with her and have witnessed her victimisation.

The Gwalior judge had also objected to the summons being sent to her husband and daughter to be present at the enquiry.

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OUTLOOK 29 August, 2014
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