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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Law intern confident SC panel will establish truth

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 21, 2013
First Published: 22:07 IST(21/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:34 IST(21/11/2013)

A law intern, who had accused a recently retired Supreme Court judge of sexually harassing her, on Thursday said she was confident a three-judge panel of the top court looking into the matter will establish the truth.

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The woman, who is now working as a lawyer with an NGO, had alleged she was sexually harassed by the judge with whom she had interned during her penultimate semester of the LLB course she did from National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata.

In her blog she had accused the judge of sexually harassing her in a hotel room in December 2012 when the nation was in the grips of an agitation after the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in the capital.

On Thursday, she wrote in her blog: "I presented all the details of the case to the Committee. I am confident that the Committee will follow all the different lines of enquiry and will establish the truth of my statements."

While claiming the Committee has assured her of complete confidentiality, she said some media reports were violating the confidentiality of testimony given by the Committee.

"They have been distorting facts, and misreporting my statements. Such pernicious and mala fide reporting must cease immediately. I would like to request the media to stop speculating on my communications with the Committee, and continue to respect my privacy," she added.

Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam had constituted the panel on November 12, a day after the allegations were highlighted in a section of the media.

"In the cases of sexual harassment, we cannot take it lightly," the CJI had said after attorney general GE Vahavati brought it to the court's notice.

The panel has concluded recording of the woman's statement. She had appeared before the Committee on November 18 and had sought an exemption from her personal appearance on November 20, which was granted by the court.

However, she sent an affidavit to the committee comprising justice RM Lodha, justice HL Dattu and justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. The woman also submitted to the committee some applications, details of which were not known.

According to Supreme Court secretary general and the committee's member secretary Ravinder Maithani, the panel held another meeting on Thursday afternoon.

It considered the woman's applications and decided to conclude her statement. There was no information as to when the committee would meet next or if the inquiry had been concluded.


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