A widow posted as a peon in the Amritsar district courts has approached Punjab and Haryana high court to seek an inquiry into sexual harassment complaint filed by her on July 15 last year against a judicial officer, at present posted at Baba Bakala town in Amritsar district.
The high court directed that the petitioner's complaint filed before the Amritsar district and sessions judge shall be placed before the sexual harassment probe committee headed by Justice Sabina of the high court for appropriate action on the complaint.
Taking up the petition, Justice K Kannan observed, "There are very serious allegations made by the petitioner and her grievance is that her allegations of sexual harassment against the judicial officer was not taken up but instead after her complaint was lodged, a charge sheet was issued against her and she has been placed under suspension."
"In the meanwhile, further inquiry initiated by the district and sessions judge shall remain stayed," ordered Justice Kannan.
The peon had also sought court directions for looking into a departmental inquiry subsequently initiated against her. The petitioner was issued suspension notice on July 29, 2011, for lodging a complaint of sexual harassment a fortnight earlier against Hira Singh, the then additional civil judge (senior division), Amritsar. A charge sheet was served on her on August 16.
The petitioner said that the petitioner joined as additional peon in the court of Hira Singh on June 14 last year and she was allegedly asked to work at the official residence of the judicial officer. It has been alleged that on the very next day, Hira Singh called the petitioner in his retiring room and directed her to visit her residence and do household work. "Shri Hira Singh commented 'tu bahut khoobsurat te jawan hain, tu meri kothi hi reha kar," read the petition.
"At about 1pm, Hira Singh came to his residence for lunch and asked for a massage on his legs and feet. After the petitioner refused, Hira Singh threatened the petitioner about adverse remarks in her ACR and further threatened the petitioner that he was likely to be transferred and in his place his wife will take charge, and that he will tell his wife to make the petitioner's life miserable," the petition further alleged.
The petitioner said that in July 2011, Hira Singh's wife Ranjit Kaur, judge, small causes, took charge while Hira Singh was transferred to Baba Bakala. "Ranjit Kaur started harassing the petitioner day by day more without any reason," the petitioner claimed.