Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sexual Harassment Charges Against a Retired Supreme Court Judge

It all started with a post -- Through My Looking Glass -- by Stella James who alleged that she was harassed by a "recently retired" Supreme Court judge back in December 2012 when she was interning with him. She elaborated a bit more in an interview to Legally India. While a a three member committee set up by the Supreme Court is inquiring into this case, several things have happened:

  • Another intern leaves a Facebook comment supporting James' allegations.

  • Mihira Sood writes an opinion piece at Legally India: In one of India’s ‘most sexist professions’, harassment by powerful men is rife.

  • Nikhil Kanekal's story at Outlook leaves several clues that help reveal the alleged perpetrator -- see this post at Law and Other Things for further clues.

  • Indira Jaising, Additional Solicitor General of India, pens an open letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court demanding greater transparency in the functioning of the inquiry committee. It's filled with scathing remarks about the legal profession, the attitude of the judges, and even the "architecture of the Supreme Court".

  • An NGO called Lawyers Collective has asked the Supreme Court to follow its own policy -- called the Vishaka Guidelines -- in dealing with this case.

  • In a MInt column, Farah Rahman draws the parallels between this case and the allegations of harassment made by Anita Hill against the Justice Clarence Thomas during his Senate confirmation hearings. Her column ends on a hopeful note:

    One result of Hill’s decision to come forward with the allegations was that it brought the issue of workplace sexual harassment to the fore and the hearings brought the issue live to anyone who had a television and could bear to watch the hearings. The year after the hearings, 1992, saw a record number of women run for office and win. There is no question that Hill’s decision to out the truth was brave, unprecedented and paved the way for women to speak up and take charge. This is also happening now in India.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Hmmmm... "Judicial Activism"....

    A San Francisco Bay Area- and the then Political Dispensation supported- "Entrepreneur" had mentioned that (I mean "Judicial Activism") as India's "only" hope, back in mid 1990s, and I had instantaneously known that, having been brought up in some freaked-up priviledged circumstances, this dude was actually being wrong. (I mean, I got, back then: Either this guy was of course being wrong, or it was this error which was to be kept in mind, somewhere, somehow.)

    He was. (I mean, brought up that way.)

    He could have said: "the last and the only" hope. Unfortunately, despite his wife's kilograms of gold (which she would make a point to display on social occasions), and his VP/Presidentships in (of course) those San Francisco Bay Area-based "independent" start-ups and all, and the millions he made thereof (presumably to support his wife's gold jewellery), the dude in question was simply not smart enough... Despite being within top 500 in JEE, in his times.

    Not in this instance, anyway.

    (If you accept SF Bay Area Indians' standards of being smart, wife's gold jewellery/the turn of the 19th century bungalow in America that you bought for "her") ought to be the notches defining units on that standard.)


    The dude in question has never failed me, even later on. (A typical IIT Bombay Product ("chasmish" and all that), what else?)


    May be, I will write a bit better about it some day later on.


    Ummmm.... You guys who cleared JEE in your youth, you have issues with this one?