The Delhi High court on Friday rejected a plea by a judicial officer challenging his removal from services on grounds of sexual harassment.
The bench comprising of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon announced their ruling after stating that the Delhi Higher Judicial Service (DHJS) officer was given ample opportunity by the Delhi high court to justify his stand.
“….having judicially examined the report, not only as to the procedure followed and opportunities at each and every stage provided to the petitioner but also on merits, we are more than convinced, of the conclusion having been rightly drawn on the basis of material on record that the allegations of sexual harassment against the petitioner, stand proved,” the bench said in a 32-page judgment.
The officer had been charged with sexually harassing a woman Ahlmad at the Dwarka District court in 2016, where he was posted as an additional judge. The victim had alleged sexual harassment by the officer and forwarded her complaint to the chief justice of the Delhi high court for appropriate action.
The judicial officer had filed a plea seeking his restoration in service, with all consequential benefits after being dismissed from service by the Delhi government in March last year, on the recommendations of the Full Court of the Delhi high court on charges of sexual harassment.
As per a report by Hindustan Times, the woman said that she worked in the court of the accused officer as Ahlmad (judicial assistant) between May 18, 2015, and May 18, 2016. The registrar general of the Delhi high court, after the incident, had directed the station house officer (SHO) to register an FIR against the accused officer and he was suspended from service.
In his defence, the officer refuted any claims made by the victim and said that false charges were levelled against him by the Ahlmad since he had issued notice to her in connection to some missing documents on July 5, 2016.
The bench, while referring to the Aug 2019 judgment of the SC, noted that the apex court had held that there was no error in the decision of the Full Court of the Delhi HC of July 13, 2016, to suspend the petitioner and initiate inquiry proceedings against him. It was maintained that the report, proving the sexual harassment charge was validly instituted against him.