By: Meghna Yelluru
A sessions court judge was recently suspended following charges of sexual harassment made against him by female employees of the court.
Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, Registrar General of the Bombay High Court, told The Indian Express that special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) judge M T Gaikwad was suspended on August 14 for sexually harassing “more than one” female staff.
According to Joshi, one of the victims had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against the judge about four weeks ago. A preliminary inquiry was conducted immediately by S D Tulankar, who is currently the designated judge for the special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA) court. The judge recorded the statements of the complainants and found “substance in the complaint”.
“Immediate action was taken by the court after the preliminary inquiry and the judge was served the suspension order on August 14. This is just a preliminary suspension,” Joshi said, adding that a departmental inquiry would be conducted by a senior judge after which final action would be taken.
Sources close to one of the complainants said the judge kept her in the office for long hours for work that she was not responsible for.
Joshi said Gaikwad had started his judicial career in 1993. His last posting was in Parbhani district. In 2012, he was transferred to Mumbai as a civil court Judge. In May this year, Gaikwad was posted to preside over NDPS cases.
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