'Want To End Life': UP Judge Writes to CJI On Sexual Harassment By Senior

In an two-page letter accessed by The Quint, the civil judge said that she is writing in “extreme pain and despair”.

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Hindi Female

(Trigger WarningDiscussions of suicide. If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs.)

A woman judge from Uttar Pradesh's Banda district wrote an open letter to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud seeking permission to 'end her life', stating she had no hope of a 'fair inquiry' over alleged sexual harassment by her senior. The allegation reportedly pertains to her previous posting six months ago.

In an two-page letter released on Thursday, 14 December, and accessed by The Quint, the civil judge said that she is writing to her “eldermost guardian” in “extreme pain and despair”.

"I joined the Judicial Service with much enthusiasm and the belief that I would dispense Justice to the common folk. What did I know that I’ll be soon rendered a beggar for Justice on every door that I go," the judge wrote.

“I have no will to live anymore. I have been rendered to a walking corpse in the last one-and-a-half year. There is no purpose in carrying this soulless and lifeless body around anymore. There is no purpose left in my life,” she wrote to the CJI.

A day later, the Supreme Court, on instructions from CJI Chandrachud, sought a status report from the Allahabad High Court administration on the status of an inquiry into allegations by the woman judicial officer, Bar and Bench reported.


'What Justice will I Give Others...': Judge in Open Letter

The judge alleged that she was sexually harassed by a district judge (who was her senior) and his associates.

The judge wrote that in a "short time of my service, I have had the rare Honour of being abused on dias in open court. I have been sexually harassed to the very limit. I have been treated like utter garbage. I feel like an unwanted insect. And I hoped to provide justice to others. What naive me!"

In her letter, the judge said that she had complained to the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice and the administrative judge in the High Court in 2022, but claimed that they did not take action.

She also complained to the High Court’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in July 2023. “It took six months and a thousand emails just to start an inquiry,” the letter read.

The judge further said that she had demanded that the senior judge be transferred while the inquiry pending, but her request was not accepted.

'I'm a Judge, But I Couldn't Fight the System'

"The proposed enquiry is also a farce and a sham. The witnesses in the enquiry are immediate subordinates of the district judge. How the Committee expects the Witnesses to depose against their boss is beyond my understanding. It’s very basic that for a fair enquiry the witness ought not to be in the Administrative Control of the Respondent (accused)."
UP woman judge to CJI

“The enquiry will now be conducted with the District Judge being in control of all the witnesses. We all know the fate of such an enquiry," she said.

The judge also asked “working women in India” not to make attempts to “fight against the system”.

“If any of the women think that you’ll fight against the system. Let me tell you, I couldn’t. And I am a judge. I could not even muster a fair inquiry for myself. Let alone justice. I advise all women to learn to be a toy or a non-living thing," she wrote.

While concluding the letter, the judge asked: "What Justice will I give to others when I am myself hopeless?"

"Kindly permit me to end my life in a dignified way. Let my life be: DISMISSED," she wrote.

On Wednesday, 13 December, the judge moved the Supreme Court to seek a fair inquiry in the case. However, a bench led by Justice Hrishikesh Roy dismissed her plea, Bar and Bench reported.

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