New Delhi: The Madhya Pradesh High court decided to keep the resignation of the former woman Judge who leveled sexual allegations against a High Court and refused to allow her reinstatement to her job before resigning.
Responding to the notice by the Supreme Court, the High Court maintained that once the woman judge’s allegations of sexual harassment “have already been rejected by the Inquiry committee, (her) petition is not maintainable and liable to be dismissed”.
The High Court’s affidavit also added that the former woman employee will not be permitted to withdraw her resignation or to seek reinstatement since once a resignation is tendered and accepted by the employer cannot be withdrawn under the service jurisprudence, News18 reports.
“The allegations of misbehavior against Judge A were completely baseless. The employer i.e. the high court has not acted in any manner to compel the petitioner to tender her resignation,” stated the High Court.
Amid allegations of sexual harassment, an inquiry committee had been set up by Rajya Sabha which had cleared the high court judge — since retired — of sexual harassment charges due to insufficient evidence.
But the former woman judge from Gwalior resigned when she was transferred in 2014.
She then moved to the SC relating to her transfer seeking reinstatement.
The top court agreed to hear the plea, which was argued by senior lawyer Indira Jaising and sought responses from the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the former judge of the High Court.
“The petition is based on the allegations of sexual harassment and misbehavior committed by Judge A, the petitioner has not referred to any other basis which led her transfer or resignation. It is a matter of record; two separate inquiry committees have found the allegations not proved,” emphasized the affidavit.
On her transfer order, the High court maintained that the inquiry panel’s findings exceeded its jurisdiction and traveled beyond its powers under the Judicial Inquiry Act, 1968.
“No value can be attached to the observation of the committee as it is clearly outside the scope and the committee while making said observation acknowledging that the said opinion was not within the purview of the reference,” added the High Court.
The Supreme Court is slated to take up the matter on Friday.