All India | Edited by Deepshikha Ghosh | Updated: January 15, 2014 08:51 IST



Supreme Court to hear lawyer's sexual harassment case against former judge

Justice Swatenter Kumar, accused by a young lawyer of sexual harassment

New Delhi The Supreme Court will today take up the petition of a young woman who has accused a retired Supreme Court judge of sexually harassing her while he was still in office.

The woman has told the court that she was harassed while she interned for Justice Swatenter Kumar in 2011.

He is now Chairman of the National Green Tribunal, which acts as a fast-track court to handle cases about environmental protection and conservation.

The ex-judge has denied the charges and has sued newspapers who published the former intern’s allegations against him. Sources say he is likely to move the Delhi High Court to stop the media from reporting the allegations, and submit affidavits of some of his interns denying the charges.

Last week, Justice AK Ganguly, another former Supreme Court judge indicted of sexual harassment, bowed to immense pressure and stepped down as Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. A panel of serving Supreme Court judges had found him guilty of unwelcome behavior and conduct of a sexual nature, but did not recommend any action. (read: Unfounded, baseless allegations, says Justice Ganguly in resignation letter)

Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam had said no action could be taken against him because the harassment took place after he had retired and the Supreme Court has no administrative control over former judges.

That decision has been challenged by the woman who has filed the case against Justice Swatenter Kumar. She has asked for a mechanism to look into sexual harassment charges against current and retired judges and also wants the Supreme Court to set up a committee to examine her charges against Justice Kumar.



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