D Selvam, a judge in a court in Erode, a city in Tamil Nadu served a memo to his office assistant for failing to wash undergarments at his house and that the assistant spoke to his wife (judge's) wife in an arrogant tone, reports The Indian Express.
The memo reads (as quoted by The Indian Express): "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."
In the event that transpired in February, Vasanthy, the office assistant, a Dalit woman responded to the memo — "I will guard against any lapses in the future and undertake to do my duties properly," she said. When the reporting team from The Indian Express contacted the judge to ask if it was legal to order office assistants to do menial jobs, he did not respond.
According to Hindustan Times, such engagement of office employees for personal benefits is not uncommon, in 2012, office assistant was asked to mop and sweep a judge's house, another was suspended for not cooking fish curry.
Vasanthy is the "sole bread-winner" of her family and has two daughters and husband who is unwell and according The Indian Express, Vasanthy continues to work at the judge's house — washing, cleaning and cooking. NDTV reports that the judge, D Selvan said that he had not done anything inappropriate — "She is an Officer's Assistant appointed to do menial work. I had given only my vest and not underwear. It's clearly given in the Judicial Officers' Association guidelines," he is quoted in the web article.