Supreme Court stays M.P. judicial panel proceedings

The Court has also issued notice to the High Court judge, blamed by his former subordinate of sexual harassment.

August 29, 2014 12:54 pm | Updated September 09, 2016 06:44 pm IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 27/09/2012: A view of the Supreme Court of India, in New Delhi on Thursday. Sept 27, 2012. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

NEW DELHI, 27/09/2012: A view of the Supreme Court of India, in New Delhi on Thursday. Sept 27, 2012. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the proceedings of a judicial committee set up to probe sexual harassment allegations levelled by a former woman additional district judge of Gwalior against a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge after she raised doubts about its propriety.

A Bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar stayed the implementation of the August 8 order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice setting up the judicial panel after the former district judge’s counsel, Indira Jaising, argued that the very purpose of an inquiry was to safeguard the high institutional integrity and independence of the judiciary. Ms. Jaising’s client has in her petition to the Supreme Court requested the setting up of a new committee comprising two Chief Justices from outside the Madhya Pradesh High Court, a High Court judge and a non-judicial member.

She also urged the Chief Justice of India to comply with the house procedure adopted by a full court meeting of the Supreme Court on December 15, 1999, as per the Vishaka case guidelines on combating sexual harassment at workplace.

Ms. Jaising invoked the highest judiciary’s commitment to conduct a fair inquiry if substantive cause for action was found in case of misconduct or impropriety.

The Bench has also issued notice to the judge, blamed by his former subordinate of sexual harassment. The petitioner had alleged that as she did not respond to his advances she was transferred.

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