The judge says no action has been taken on her complaint By Puja Awasthi Updated: December 14, 2023 17:32 IST Representative image
A lady judge in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh has asked for permission from the Chief Justice of India to end her life, following the “abuse” and “harassment” she had endured in her career.
In her letter to the CJI, the civil judge says she is writing to her “eldermost guardian” in “extreme pain and despair”.
The letter reads, “I joined the Judicial Service with much enthusiasm and the belief that I would dispense Justice to the common folk. What did I know that I’ll be soon rendered a beggar for Justice on every door that I go. In the short time of my service I have had the rare Honour of being abused (the dreaded Hindi mother curse word) on Dias in open court. I have been sexually harassed to the very limit. I have been treated like utter garbage. I feel like an unwanted insect. And I hoped to provide justice to others. What Naive me! I wish to tell all the working women in India: Learn to live with sexual harassment. It’s a truth of our lives” (sic).
The judge goes on to label the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment, Act (2013) “a big wholesome lie”.
“No one listens, no one bothers. If you complaint, you will be tortured. Be submissive. And, when I mean no one listens, that includes the Supreme Court. You will get eight seconds of hearing, an insult and a threat to impose costs. You will be pushed to commit suicide. And if you are lucky (unlike me), your first attempt at suicide will be successful. If any of the women think that you will fight against the system, let me tell you, I couldn’t,” the letter reads.
The judge then goes on claim that a district judge had asked her to meet him at night. Though a complaint had been given to the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court and the Administrative Judge in 2022, no action has been taken till date, she says.
Later, she filed a complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee of the High Court in July 2023.
“It took six months and a thousand emails just to start an enquiry. The proposed enquiry is also a farce and a sham. The witnesses in the enquiry are immediate subordinates of the district judge. How the committee expects the witnesses to depose against their boss is beyond my understanding,” she says in her letter.
The judge claims that she had asked for the transfer of the district judge during the pendency of the inquiry so that a fair examination of facts would be possible, but the petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court in just eight seconds.
“It is even more surprising that this dismissal happened after the High Court had observed that the judicial aspect of the inquiry was being influenced,” she says.
“Just one sentence and DISMISSED. I felt like my life, my dignity and my soul have been DISMISSED. It felt like a personal humiliation. The enquiry will now be conducted with the District Judge being in control of all the witnesses. We all know the fate of such an enquiry. What Justice will I give to others when I am myself hopeless? I have no will to live anymore. I have been rendered to a Walking Corpse in the last year and a half. There is no purpose in carrying this soulless and lifeless body around anymore. There is no purpose left in my life. Kindly permit me to end my life in a dignified way. Let my life be: DISMISSED,” (sic) the letter concludes.