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SC issues notice to MP High Court, govt on petition seeking reinstatement of woman judge who accused senior of sexual harassment

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the state government based on the petition of a former Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ) requesting to be reinstated, reports have said. The woman judge had quit her position after accusing the Madhya Pradesh High Court judge Justice SK Gangele, of sexual harassment.

A notice has been issued to the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the state government through its Registrar General and the top court has sought a reply from them within six weeks, reported The Leaflet.

File image of Supreme Court. PTI

File image of Supreme Court. PTI

According to CNN News18, in her petition, the former woman judge has cited a finding of three member judges inquiry committee. The inquiry committee had stated that although there was insufficient evidence to prove charges of sexual harassment against Justice Gangele, a mid-session transfer order which the former female ADJ was served had irregularities and was termed punitive.

Relying on the finding that her transfer was not justified, the former woman judge has approached the top court in July 2018 seeking to be reinstated.

According to a Live Law report, the former woman ADJ had levelled sexual harassment allegations against Justice Gangele in 2014 and had approached the Supreme Court in July 2018 demanding her reinstatement.

She had alleged that her resignation was an act of “constructive termination”, and had claimed that she was forced to resign as a consequence of her being 'unlawfully and in a mala fide manner transferred' to a conflict area for refusing 'immoral demands' of Justice Gangele, her superior.

The Times of India had reported in 2014 that the former woman judge of Gwalior had written a formal complaint to the then Chief Justice RM Lodha, detailing that her refusal against the 'various advances and malicious aspirations' of Justice Gangele is the reason that she was served with a mid-session transfer order to Sidhi.

Justice Lodha had acknowledged her complaint and replied stating that 'appropriate action' will be taken.

According to a report in The Leaflet, a three-member judges inquiry committee was set up by the Rajya Sabha Chairman to probe into the charges of sexual harassment alleged by the woman judge, in its report had concluded that her transfer was 'not justified', but had termed the Justice Gangele's conduct as 'improper' and not 'misbehaviour'.

Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 13:36 PM

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