Withdraw plea seeking direction to EC for conducting SCBA polls through secret ballot: SC to petitioner

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition filed by a Madhya Pradesh district judge seeking to quash disciplinary proceedings against him following a sexual harassment complaint by a junior judicial officer and said that “sexual harassment allegations cannot be brushed aside under the carpet”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde expressed its disinclination to quash the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Madhya Pradesh High Court against senior district judge Shambhoo Singh Raghuvanshi against whom a sexual harassment complaint was lodged after he sent inappropriate messages to a junior judicial officer.

While rejecting to hear his plea, the Chief Justice of India said: “You are walking on very thin ice. You may have a chance that you may be acquitted. But as matters stand now, you are convicted. Sexual harassment allegations cannot be brushed under the carpet like this.”

When the petitioner judge requested the court to allow him to approach another forum, the bench said that there was no res judicata against him. The sexual harassment complaint against Singh was lodged in 2018. He had earlier approached the Supreme Court to quash the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the high court, but the top court had declined to entertain the same, asking him to approach the high court instead.

SC agrees to hear plea for caste-wise census

The SC Friday agreed to hear a plea seeking direction to the Centre for conducting a caste-wise 2021 census for backward classes for efficient allocation of budgetary resources and excluding the ‘creamy layer’ and ‘non backward class’ citizens from a particular caste. A bench of CJI Bobe and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice to the Centre and NCBC and tagged the matter with other pending matters.

Petition challenging FASTag rejected

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea challenging the Centre’s decision to make FASTag mandatory for all the vehicles. The government has made FASTag mandatory from February 15 midnight and any vehicle not fitted with it will be charged double the toll at electronic toll plazas, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said. The court asked the petitioner to approach the Delhi HC.