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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Law intern speaks to Supreme Court panel

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 18, 2013
First Published: 22:32 IST(18/11/2013) | Last Updated: 08:14 IST(19/11/2013)

A young woman lawyer who blogged that she was sexually harassed by a recently-retired Supreme Court judge during her internship last December appeared before a three-judge panel investigating her allegations on Monday.

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The committee, comprising Justice RM Lodha, Justice HL Dattu and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, spoke to the lawyer for over two hours and recorded her statement. The lawyer has apparently requested the panel to keep her testimony confidential.

In a statement, Ravindra Maithani, secretary general of the apex court and member-secretary of the panel, said the panel’s inquiry remains inconclusive and it will meet again on November 20. The intern is likely to appear before it again.

In her blog post, the lawyer alleged that the SC judge misbehaved with her in a Delhi hotel room last December when the Capital was in the grip of protests following the gangrape of a medical student.

Another woman lawyer accused an unnamed senior advocate of making advances which were “in the nature of an obsessive romantic and sexual interest.” These allegations were reported on the same website that published online the first lawyer’s allegations of harassment.

However, the second lawyer said she didn’t want her case to become a legal complaint.

“I have no intention of pursuing this. It’s just that I did not have the courage to rock the boat earlier, but someone else has done it now and I felt the least I could do was add to her and so many others’ efforts.”

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