MeToo in Judiciary: SC Agrees to Consider Reinstatement of Judge Who Quit Alleging Sexual Harassment
The district judge had resigned in 2014 after allegedly being harassed by the senior judge. The inquiry panel was set up in 2015 after 58 members of the Rajya Sabha, gave a notice to move a motion to impeach the HC judge.
New Delhi: As the #MeToo movement grows in India, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a plea of reinstatement of a woman judicial officer, who quit in 2014 alleging sexual harassment by a high court judge in Madhya Pradesh.
A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri admitted the petition by the former district and sessions judge and issued a notice to the MP High Court.
"The notices will be returnable in six weeks. We will hear it after we get a response," said the bench, as the woman's lawyer Indira Jaising pressed for urgency.
The petition has cited the report submitted by an inquiry panel constituted by the Rajya Sabha.
The inquiry panel was set up in 2015 after 58 members of the Rajya Sabha, gave a notice to move a motion to impeach the HC judge.
The report by the committee, comprising Supreme Court judge Justice R Banumathi, Justice (since retired) Manjula Chellur and senior advocate K K Venugopal, was tabled in the Rajya Sabha in December last.
The report concluded that the allegations of sexual harassment could not be "proved beyond reasonable doubt". The panel has, however, added that the decision to transfer the woman judge "mid-session" was "not justified".
"Under these circumstances, the complainant probably had no option than to submit her resignation since her elder daughter was pursuing Board XII exam. In these circumstances, we find that the transfer of the complainant to Sidhi has become unbearable for her to continue in service, resulting in her resignation," the report has maintained.
Relying upon the findings on her transfer, the petition has now sought her job back.
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