A lower court judge in Tamil Nadu served his office assistant, a 47-year-old Dalit woman, with an office memo after she refused to wash his inner wear, prompting the state judicial employees association to approach the Madras high court.
“Please explain within 7 days why disciplinary action should not be initiated against you for your failure to wash the inner wear which were put for washing in the sub-judge’s house, and for throwing them away disgustingly, and when your attitude was questioned by the officer and his wife for retorting in an arrogant tone,” said the February 1 memo, as reported by the Indian Express.
The document was signed by subordinate judge D Selvam of Sathyamangalam court, the newspaper said.
The woman responded on February 4, requesting the disciplinary action against her be closed.
“I humbly submit that I will guard against any lapses in the future and undertake to do my duties properly.”
“Since then, I have been going to their house and work as usual without engaging in any conversation with his wife,” the woman told the New Indian Express. A Class 10 pass out, who was appointed nearly nine years ago, she has two married daughters and has to look after her ailing husband.
This is not the first time such an incident has triggered outrage in the state. In 2012, an office assistant grabbed headlines after saying she was asked to mop and sweep a judge’s house. Another magistrate suspended an office assistant for failing to cook fish curry.