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HC admits plea against next CJI

HC admits plea against next CJI
Highlights

HC admits plea against next CJI, The Delhi High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea filed by an advocate and a former RAW woman officer against the appointment of Justice H L Dattu as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI).

  • Ex-RAW officer alleges sexual harassment by H L Dattu
  • He is to take over as Chief Justice of India on Sept 28


Justice H L DattuNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea filed by an advocate and a former RAW woman officer against the appointment of Justice H L Dattu as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI), alleging sexual harassment by him. Nisha Priya Bhatia, 51, sought quashing of the government recommendation to the President to appoint Justice Dattu as the CJI.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said it would hear the matter on Thursday. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain appearing for the central government opposed the plea, saying the petition is frivolous and should not be entertained.

Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was appointed the next CJI by the President with effect from September 28, 2014, the law ministry said in September first week. The present incumbent, Justice R M Lodha, retires on September 27.

Bhatia alleged that she was a law student in 2011 when Justice Dattu began hearing all her court cases in the Supreme Court, her work place. "He (Dattu) has since then contributed to her acute and intense sexual harassment even though -- under the Vishakha guidelines of the apex court itself -- he was obliged to protect her against it, even from the third party," the plea said.

The plea said Justice Dattu dismissed all her cases and she had also filed complaints against him with police, the National Commission for Women and the Delhi Commission for Women. Bhatia, a 1987 batch Class 1 executive cadre officer in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), got compulsory retirement from the service in 2009.

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