In a significant decision, the Supreme Court has ordered reinstatement of a woman Additional District Judge (ADJ), who accused a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge of sexual harassment. The lady ADJ was transferred after making allegations, due to which she resigned.
A two-member bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai issued this order in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
The former ADJ had alleged in 2014 that the now retired Justice SK Gangele had sent him a message through the registrar of the district court to ‘dance an item song’ at his residence. Justice Gangele was then his supervisor judge.
After making these allegations, the woman judge was transferred from Gwalior to Sidhi. After this, on 15 July 2014, he resigned from the post of Additional District and Sessions Judge.
In January 2018, the Rajya Sabha constituted a committee which dismissed the allegations of sexual misconduct by the woman. The committee found evidence that ‘the responding judge interfered in the transfer of the complainant and prevented him from presenting his case’.
However, the committee recommended reinstatement of the complainant woman as a judge. But it was not binding.
After this, in July 2018, the woman filed an application in the Supreme Court and appealed for her reinstatement, on which the Supreme Court on Thursday issued an order in her favor.
The Supreme Court also held that the petitioner’s resignation from the post of ADJ, Gwalior cannot be treated as voluntary and the order of 17 July 2014 accepting his resignation stands quashed.