Law intern’s sexual harassment, SC issues notice

Law intern’s-sexual- harassment

Women’s groups in India hail the notice issued by the supreme court of India on hearing the petition on sexual harassment of a former law intern

By Team FI
The Supreme Court of India, after hearing a petition on sexual harassment of a former Supreme Court law intern has issued notices to Justice Swatantra Kumar, Government of India and the Secretary General of Supreme Court of India.

A former law intern of the SC had moved an affidavit to the Chief Justice of India, requesting a hearing on the incident of Sexual Harassment that happened when she was working as an official intern with Sitting Judge Justice Swatantra Kumar in 2011. The Chief Justice had returned her affidavit on grounds that the SC administration had decided that they would not hear cases against retired judges. Challenging this order the Former Law intern moved the SCI.

Four petitioners, Dr. Pritam Pal, Vishakha Group for Women’s Education and Research Rajasthan, Renuka Pamecha, Women’s Rehabilitation Group, Jaipur, Suneeta Dhar, Jagori Delhi, and Urvashi Butalia, Kali for Women, Delhi, impleaded themselves as interveners in the case. The court today after hearing them, has now posted the hearing for 14 February, 2014.

The matter was heard by a bench of three judges chaired by the Chief Justice of India. Senior counsel Shekhar Naphde represented the four petitioners and senior counsel Harish Salve represented the former law intern. The Team of Lawyers included Vrinda Grover and Kamini Jaiswal.

In 1992, a petition filed by the same petitioners had resulted in the landmark SC judgment on Visakha guidelines on sexual harassment at workplace. It is hoped that this heralds new guidelines which would ensure a mechanism for the prevention and redressal of sexual harassment of women for the entire judiciary from the Supreme Court to the magisterial court.

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