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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Former law intern claims harassment by ex-SC judge

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 11, 2014
First Published: 00:39 IST(11/1/2014) | Last Updated: 02:39 IST(11/1/2014)

Another graduate of National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata has alleged sexual harassment by a then sitting Supreme Court judge in May 2011.

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In her complaint, sent directly to Chief Justice P Sathasivam, the woman claimed the retired judge had made “unwelcome physical contact and sexual advances” towards her while she officially interned with him. The incidents shocked her to such an extent that she cut-short her internship and left Delhi for her hometown.

The complainant has cited three instances of sexual advances made by the judge after she joined his office on May 16, 2011. She was given the task to plan a conference on environmental protection. The complainant said as she was stepping out of his office before the judge, the latter placed his hand on her lower back.

As she brushed aside the incident, she was in for some more shock. On May 28, 2011 the complainant had apparently made some mistake in her work for which she went to the judge’s chamber and apologised. She alleged the judge called her to his side of the desk and put his right arm around her and kissed her left shoulder. During one of her initial conversations the judge had even asked her if she was comfortable travelling outside Delhi during her internship and would stay in hotel rooms.

The woman’s complaint was considered by the full-court of 30 Supreme Court judges alongwith the inquiry committee’s report into similar allegations against retired judge justice AK Ganguly. It refused to act upon it on the ground the judge concerned had retired. According to sources the retired judge is heading a quasi-judicial body. He retired in December 2012. It is also learnt that the woman lawyer is likely to challenge SC’s administrative order on the judicial side.

Additional solicitor general Indira Jaisingh who wrote the Prime Minister seeking justice Ganguly’s removal as the West Bengal Human Rights Commission’s chairman said: “It is possible to challenge an administrative order.”

Though HT is aware of the judge’s name, the paper is witholding it as he could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

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