Banda- In Uttar Pradesh, a woman civil judge in Banda has written a poignant letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, seeking euthanasia. The three-page letter expresses her disillusionment with the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act, stating that it is a significant falsehood where her concerns go unheard.
She also mentioned an incident from her Barabanki posting, where she faced misconduct from the Bar Association office bearers, the letter reveals her physical and mental distress, compelling her to seek permission to end her life. She accuses the District Judge of unreasonable demands, highlighting concerns about women's workplace safety. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud has expedited an investigation, acknowledging the seriousness of the matter.
The junior division judge experienced humiliation in a crowded court a year ago on October 7, 2022. She documented this incident, in the official records, suggesting mental exploitation.
According to the record, at 11:10, the judge began her judicial duties when Bar General Secretary Ritesh Kumar Mishra, Senior Vice President Mohan Singh, and other officials, along with advocates, entered the courtroom, disrupting the judicial proceedings. The advocates reportedly threatened the judge, questioning her support and accusing her of having a troubled mind.
In the two-page letter to the CJI, she details unreasonable demands made by a Judge and the subsequent harassment she faced. In her words, "During my short tenure, I was harassed, I have suffered a lot of sexual harassment. I was treated like garbage. I felt as if I was an insect. I hoped to bring justice to others. I too was so naive!"
Expressing her disillusionment, she advises working women in India to accept the harsh reality of sexual harassment, dismissing the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act as a lie. She laments that no one listens or cares. In her plea, she questions her ability to deliver justice to others when she feels hopeless herself.
"I lodged a complaint with the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court in 2022, and to date, no action has been taken. There has been a complete lack of inquiry into the matter, with no one bothering to inquire about the details or the reasons behind my distress. Subsequently, in July 2023, I turned to the Internal Complaints Committee of the High Court, and the process of initiating an investigation took a staggering six months and a multitude of emails."
"However, the proposed investigation appears to be a mere façade. The witnesses enlisted for the inquiry are directly subordinate to the District Judge, creating a glaring conflict of interest. It is fundamental to a fair investigation that witnesses are not under the administrative control of the accused, yet this basic principle seems to have been overlooked."
"My earnest plea for a transfer of the District Judge during the investigation was also disregarded. It's essential to note that this request wasn't arbitrary; the Honorable High Court had already determined from a judicial standpoint that there were signs of tampering with evidence. I did not anticipate that my complaints and statements would be automatically accepted as irrefutable truths. All I sought was a fair investigation."
She wrote, "The investigation is set to be conducted under the purview of the District Judge, effectively placing all the witnesses under their control. The predictable outcome of such an inquiry is evident to us all. In the face of my own disillusionment, how can I be expected to deliver justice to others? Over the past one and a half years, I have become a mere shell of a person, devoid of purpose. I earnestly request the permission to bring an end to my life in a dignified manner."
Story Translated by Geetha Sunil Pillai