In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Thursday divested an Madhya Pradesh High Court Judge, accused of sexual misdemeanour, from undertaking administrative and supervisory role.
The apex court bench headed by Justice JS Kehar passed its order on a woman judge’s plea of alleged sexual harassment against a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge.
The lady is a judge in additional district and sessions court in Gwalior.
The top court quashed two judge panel set up by the chief justice of Madhya Pradesh high court to probe the allegations of sexual harassment and said that Chief Justice of India HL Dattu may constitute another panel to look into the allegation against the sitting judge.
The SC bench said that CJI court would entrust the chief justice of another high court to constitute a probe panel or himself undertake the exercise to look into the allegations.
The apex court bench headed by Justice JS Kehar quashed the panel saying that the chief justice of the high court constituted it improperly as it was in violation of in-house procedures put in place by the SC to probe the allegation of sexual harassment by the judges of the high court and the apex court.
In a shocking revelation of sexual harassment in the higher ranks of judiciary, the woman judge had resigned after alleging that she was sexually harassed by a judge in the Madhya Pradesh high court.
The woman judge had said in her complaint that after she refused to yield to his advances, she was transferred from Gwalior to a remote place in Madhya Pradesh in the middle of her daughter’s academic session.
The female judge was heading the Vishaka committee against sexual harassment in her district.
She complained that the HC judge asked her to visit his bungalow alone and perform an ‘item number’ at a function in his residence. When she didn’t turn up, he told her that he had “missed the opportunity of viewing a sexy and beautiful figure dancing on the floor and that he is desperate to see the same.