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India: Joint Press Note by Women’s Groups Regarding Sexual harassment complaint by former law intern of the Supreme Court

17 January 2014

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Joint Press Note By Women’s Groups of Jaipur and Delhi

15th, January, 2014

IN THE CASE OF THE S.C FORMER LAW INTERN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA ISSUES NOTICES TO Secretary General Supreme Court Of India, Union Of India And Justice Swatantra Kumar, Presently Chair National Green Tribunal

Made Interveners in the Case: Vishakha Group For Women’s Education And Research, Rajasthan, Women’s Rehabilitation Group, Jaipur and Jagori (Delhi) and Kali for Women ( Delhi)

All Petitioners Of The Earlier Vishaka Judgement,


Praying that the Supreme Court ensure a mechanism for the prevention and redressal of sexual harassment of women for the entire judiciary, (including Judges and Judicial officers) from the Supreme Court downwards to the magisterial court, four petitioners in the earlier case of 1992 which brought the guidelines popularly known as Vishakha guidelines, once again moved the Supreme court of India today, the 15th of January, 2014. They impleaded themselves as interveners in the case of the former official law intern who alleged that she had been sexually harassed in 2011 by Justice Swatantra Kumar, then a sitting judge, now the Judge of the National Green Tribunal. The petition argued that the enforcement and application of the binding directives of the Vishaka Judgment, on all institutions including the Judiciary, would only reinforce the respect that the women of this country have for the judiciary.

The court today after hearing the petitioners and the intervenors namely, Vishakha Group for Women’s Education and Research (Rajasthan) , Women’s Rehabilitation Group, Jaipur, Jagori ( Delhi) and Kali for Women ( Delhi), accepted their impleadment of making them intervenors and issued notices to the Secretary General of the Supreme Court of India, the Union of India and Justice Swatantra Kumar, presently chair National Green Tribunal on the above prayers and have now posted the hearing for 14th February, 2014. The Solicitor General Mr. Mohan Parasaran accepted the notices on behalf of the Union of India during the course of the hearing.

The matter was heard by a bench of three judges chaired by the Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. Sathasivam, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Shiva Kirti Singh. The matter was argued by senior counsel Shekhar Naphde for the interveners and senior counsel Harish Salve for the former law intern of the Supreme court of India. The Team of Lawyers included Ms. Vrinda Grover and Ms. Kamini Jaiswal.

It may be recalled that the 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 CJI 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..

Women’s Groups of Jaipur and Delhi hailed it as a first step towards victory.

We are,

Petitioners: Dr. Pritam Pal for Vishakha Group for Women’s Education and Resource), Renuka Pamecha (Women’s Rehabilitation Group), Suneeta Dhar (Jagori), Urvashi Butalia ( Kali for Women)

Support group: Mamta Jaitly ( Vividha Women’s Documentation and Resource Centre), Kavita Srivastava ( People’s Union For Civil Liberties), Nisha Sidhu ( National Federation for Indian Women)

Contact persons : Kavita Srivastava: 09351562965, Vrinda Grover ( lawyer): 0981806181