July 19, 2019 at Jantar Mantar, 3 pm to 5 pm
July 19 will mark 90 days since the former Supreme Court staffer complained about sexual harassment by the Chief Justice of India. Events since then have highlighted the complete failure of the Supreme Court to provide a free, fair and credible inquiry into the matter. The inquiry into her complaint failed to meet even the basic standards of how such an inquiry should be carried out, as defined in the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act and the Vishaka guidelines. The failure to provide her a fair hearing and representation, proceeding with the inquiry even after she withdrew and finally, denying her a copy of the inquiry report go against all established principles of natural justice. The manner in which events unfolded in fact showed that there are serious gaps in current accountability mechanisms for judges of the Supreme Court and High Court. The In-house Procedure does not provide any mechanism for receiving and inquiring into cases against the CJI. The Supreme Court’s regulations on sexual harrassment also do not provide for complaints by staff against judges.
The case represents an important moment in the struggles against sexual harrassment and for judicial accountability. The failure of the highest constitutional office, which citizens look up to for securing justice, to provide any semblance of a fair and just inquiry is condemnable. Join us on the 19th of July to protest against this injustice and to demand:
– Fair and independent inquiry in the case against the CJI as per principles laid down in POSH & Vishaka
– Setting up a credible mechanism for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment against judges in the higher judiciary, in line with principles of the POSH Act
– Greater transparency & accountability in the judiciary, as these are key to ensuring judicial independence
Join us to say: *All should be equal before the law*
CSW, NAPM, NFIW, NNSW, PMS, Saheli, SNS, WSS