Sunday, August 10, 2014

Supreme Court upholds punishment to judicial officer for sexual abuse

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a 2007 order of the Madras high court and upheld the decision of a disciplinary authority to send a judicial officer to compulsory retirement for sexually harassing his private secretary when he was serving as deputy registrar on deputation in a tribunal.

Setting aside the Madras HC order, the apex court bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice M Y Eqbal restored the order of the Disciplinary Authority sending K Muthukumarasamy on compulsory retirement with effect from October 10, 2002.

Muthukumarasamy was sent on compulsory retirement following an inquiry into a complaint by his private secretary that he wrote lewd remarks on two slips and caused mental torture and agony by calling her house at midnight. Muthukumarasamy had challenged the decision in the Madras high court which in 2007 reversed it.

Noting that during the pendency of the appeal before it Muthukumarasamy had completed his service and retired, the court said, "What should be the consequences that should now visit the delinquent including his pensionary entitlements is a matter that we leave to the discretion of the Disciplinary Authority which power will naturally be exercised in accordance with known principles of law in this regard."

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