New Delhi [India], September 4 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Madhya Pradesh High Court and also stayed the disciplinary proceedings against the district judge against whom sexual harassment charges have been levelled by a woman judicial officer.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde stayed the proceedings pending before the district judge.
The Bench during the hearing observed that filing complaints against judges had become a trend and that it was a deplorable practice.
"This is such a regular phenomenon in our system now. When something is on the verge of happening, all kinds of things start. People remember what a bad person he is. What to do? This has become a trend now. It has become a practice now," CJI said.
The judge has approached the top court seeking quashing of sexual harassment charges levelled against him by a woman judicial judge.
In March 2018, the woman judge had lodged the complaint of sexual harassment at the workplace against the district judge. Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him and in the meantime, the petitioner judge was transferred from Khandwa to Damoh.
The gender sensitisation and internal complaints Committee submitted its report favouring further disciplinary actions against him.
"The petitioner (judge) has an unblemished judicial service career spanning over 32 years with sterling record of service and he is due to superannuate at the end of the year, 2020. The entire action of Respondents (woman judge) is visited with arbitrariness, malafide and in complete violation of law and the principles of natural justice by holding enquiry and or recording statements behind the back of the petitioner repeatedly without giving any opportunity to cross-examine even once the complainant at any stage," the plea stated.
It added, "All these actions have been done at a time when the petitioner is in the zone of consideration for being considered for elevation. The action has apparently been kept pending for last more than two years by ordering one enquiry after the other by different agencies with a view to keep the 'pot boiling' in order to harm the career prospects of the petitioner and eschew him from consideration for extraneous reasons. Otherwise, there is no explicable reason as to why as many as four enquiries were conducted by different agencies at different points of time finally culminating into a fifth enquiry viz., disciplinary enquiry." (ANI)