New Delhi, April 22: The Supreme Court today barred an advocate from entering its premises for six months following a report of an internal panel that went into allegations that he sexually harassed a lady lawyer.
This is the first time the court has passed such an order since it formed a gender sensitisation committee late last year in the wake of an intern’s complaint of sexual misconduct against a retired judge.
Another intern had also levelled similar allegations against another former judge. Both have denied the allegations.
Chief Justice P. Sathasivam passed the formal order after considering the report of the Supreme Court’s Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC), headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.
Justice Sathasivam, however, halved the punishment the gender committee had recommended for C.S. Nagesh, saying “no other incident of this nature” relating to the advocate had been reported.
“Having considered the report of the GSICC dated 4th March, 2014, which unanimously accepted the report of the internal sub-committee dated 21st February, 2014, recommending debarring the entry of Mr C.S. Nagesh… into the Supreme Court precincts for a specified period extending up to a maximum period of one year… I am of the view that, in the first instance, six months’ bar on entry into the Supreme Court precincts would suffice, considering the fact that, except the instant case, no other incident of this nature relating to Mr Nagesh has been reported,” Justice Sathasivam said.
“This penalty in my view, would not only allow him to redeem himself, but also would operate as a deterrent against him.”
It is learnt that the young advocate had accused Nagesh of constantly stalking her. The advocate is also alleged to have sent her objectionable messages.
The inquiry was conducted under the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013.
The court has kept open the issue of whether these rules, relating to sexual harassment in the Supreme Court, should apply to former judges too.
This is because the 2013 rules were framed after the allegations were levelled against the two former judges.