Delhi HC upholds dismissal of Judge for workplace sexual harassment

The disciplinary proceedings against him concluded that the allegations of sexual harassment were proven

workplace sexual harassment

Delhi High Court dismissed a petition filed by a terminated judge of the Delhi Higher Judicial Services seeking restoration of services after disciplinary proceedings against him concluded that allegations of sexual harassment were proved against him. The court Ahalmad (record keeper of the court) had filed two complaints of sexual harassment against him and the disciplinary proceedings found merit in these allegations, thus terminating the judge.

The petitioner, ex-officer of the Delhi Higher Judicial Services, filed the petition challenging his dismissal from service and seeking restoration in service. The petitioner stated that upon noticing that some papers were missing from a judicial file, a notice was issued to the complainant who was formerly Ahalmad at the court. The petitioner states that annoyed by this notice, she filed the complaint of sexual harassment against him on July 5, 2016. He was suspended from duty and after few days, Internal Complaint Committee as per Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was appointed. The ICC did not find any proved allegation against the petitioner but the petitioner was not exonerated. 

In November 2016, the High Court initiated disciplinary proceedings for major penalty under Rule 8 of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules. The disciplinary proceedings were concluded in a report dated March 9, 2018 whereby the allegations of sexual harassment against the petitioner were proved.

The court held, “As far as the conclusion reached in the Report dated 9th March, 2018 that the allegations in the complaint of Ms. M against the petitioner, of sexual harassment at workplace, have been proved, is concerned, neither has the counsel for the petitioner addressed any argument on the same nor do we, after having judicially examined the said report, find any flaw whatsoever therein; rather, 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 petition was thus dismissed by the Delhi High Court.

The complete order may be read here.



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