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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday made sharp observations on the conduct of a district decide from Madhya Pradesh, who despatched offensive and inappropriate messages to a junior officer and justified this conduct as mere “flirting”.
A former district decide from Madhya Pradesh moved the highest courtroom difficult the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Madhya Pradesh High Court over the sexual harassment allegations made by a junior judicial officer.
Senior advocate Ravindra Shrivastava together with advocate Arjun Garg, representing Madhya Pradesh High Court, learn out a number of WhatsApp messages despatched by the District Judge to junior woman officer. Shrivastava mentioned he’s a senior judicial officer; therefore his conduct ought to have been extra acceptable with the woman officer.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian mentioned: “WhatsApp messages are quite offensive and improper. For a judge this conduct with junior officer – not acceptable.” The bench queried that if they’ve some understanding with one another, is it good to go forward? However, the bench added that the petitioner has already learnt a lesson and pointed at a settlement between the events.
Shrivastava replied that the girl officer needed a settlement, however the High Court committee probing this matter didn’t settle for it. He added the petitioner has admitted that he was flirting with the woman. “What kind of judicial officer is this? We don’t understand”, added Shrivastava exclaimed. At this stage, the Chief Justice mentioned it agrees with Shrivastava’s submissions.
Senior advocate R Balasubramanian, representing the district decide, submitted that the woman officer has withdrawn her criticism below the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, subsequently the disciplinary proceedings by the excessive courtroom usually are not maintainable.
The bench queried Balasubramanian, the girl could have withdrawn the criticism, however the bigger query is that whether or not the inquiry must be performed by the excessive courtroom.
Balasubramanian, reiterated that the retried judicial officer informed the excessive courtroom that the woman officer withdrew her criticism, but departmental proceedings have been initiated in opposition to his consumer.
Chief Justice famous he could have thought that it’s a non-public dialog, and the matter earlier than the gender sensitisation committee got here to an finish after the woman declined to take part. The bench reiterated: “High court wants to proceed, and it is duty bound to do so limited to disciplinary proceedings. What is there in law which can prevent high court proceedings?”
Shrivastava submitted that the excessive courtroom is continuing with the matter even after the retirement of the petitioner, because it needed to “send a strong message”.
Balasubramanian argued that these prices had been levelled throughout his consumer’s promotion simply to spoil his possibilities of being promoted. The Chief Justice replied that this phenomenon is ubiquitous. “All kinds of allegations come during promotion. We cannot generalise it. In this case there is allegation”, noticed the bench.
Concluding the listening to, the Chief Justice mentioned, ” we are likely to make some sweeping observations in this case, you withdraw and contest the enquiry.” After an in depth listening to within the matter, the highest courtroom adjourned the matter for every week.

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