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Ex-NUJS intern claims harassment by Swatanter Kumar while he was SC judge

Another graduate of NUJS Kolkata has alleged that she was sexually harassed by a then-sitting Supreme Court judge in 2011, reported the Indian Express today. The story follows in the wake of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) chairman AK Ganguly’s resignation after claims that he had harassed an intern after his retirement.

Update: Swatanter Kumar has been named as the the alleged former judge by IBNLive.

According to the Express, the new complainant was assisting the judge in organising a conference as part of her internship and was emboldened to make a complaint because of the stand taken by the complainant against Ganguly:

The Indian Express has confirmed from sources in Delhi and Kolkata that the woman sent her detailed complaint to the CJI last month. However, she was told by the apex court that there was little the CJI could do and that she could take appropriate action under law. It is likely that the complainant will file a petition seeking action against the former judge…

Sources said that “strongly disturbed and upset” with the behaviour of the judge, the woman left the internship mid-way. She is learnt to have talked to her close friends and family about the incident. Sources said she decided to bring the alleged incident to the CJI’s notice after the swift response of the apex court to the allegations against Ganguly.

Legally India understands that her internship was formally organised through her college internship processes, unlike in the case of Ganguly’s former intern, who was a research assistant informally deputed to the former judge by the college.

The allegation was first reported on 19 December 2013 by the Mail Today. The paper wrote at the time:

… it is learnt, the second intern has been told by the apex court that it can't take any action to help her in this case. "A senior law officer sent an affidavit to the Chief Justice affirming in a sealed cover that another intern had levelled allegation of sexual harassment against another recently retired Supreme Court judge," said the source. "But in a full court meeting (which comprises all the judges of the Supreme Court) convened to take a call on the Ganguly issue, a decision was taken that no more complaints against retired judges will be entertained by the court," the source said. This effectively has shut the door for any response to the second intern's complaint from the court.

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