<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over two years after the then Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari set up a three-member committee of jurists to probe allegations of sexual harassment (forcing a female Additional District Judge to resign to protect her ‘dignity’) against Justice SK Gangele, a sitting judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the committee has finally submitted its report.Sources told DNA that the committee comprising Supreme Court Judge R Banumati, Bombay High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, and Attorney-General KK Venugopal submitted the report to Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, last week. While the original committee was headed by Supreme Court judge Vikramjit Sen, after his retirement, it was taken by Justice Banumati.The committee examined several witnesses and also heard the complainant and the accused high court judge. Sources in Naidu’s office said that the report is being “studied” and will be placed before the House at the next session. However, neither the three members nor the RS Chairman’s office was ready to disclose the contents of the report.Ansari had constituted the committee in April 2015 after receiving a motion signed by 58 RS MPs seeking impeachment of Justice Gangele for allegedly sexually harassing a former Additional District and Sessions judge of Gwalior.The judge had resigned in 2014, saying she had done so to protect her “dignity, womanhood, and self-esteem”.In her complaint to the CJI, the ADJ had accused Justice Gangele of sending her a message through the district court registrar to “perform a dance on an item song” at a function in his residence. She said, a day after the function, which she chose not to attend, the judge allegedly told her “he missed the opportunity of viewing a sexy and beautiful figure dancing on the floor”.Incidentally, an in-house committee of judges constituted by the CJI to probe the charges against Justice Gangele, had exonerated him, stating there was “insufficient” evidence to establish a charge of sexual harassment.However, the committee had also found Justice Gangele to be “ambivalent and evasive about facts which are within his knowledge”. It had also raised questions of propriety of a high court judge (Justice Gangele) holding a public event to celebrate his 25th marriage anniversary on December 11, 2013, which was attended by many government officers.
Link to article: