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Delhi HC declines staying Dattu's CJI appointment over claim he contributed to harassment by dismissing cases

The Delhi High Court Friday refused to interfere with the appointment of Justice HL Dattu as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI), on a plea filed by an advocate and former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) female officer against him for dismissing all her cases in the Supreme Court.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog dismissed the plea, which sought the recommendation of the government to the President to appoint Justice Dattu as the next CJI be quashed.

“Once the presidential approval is there, we can’t do anything. It’s not a matter of interference,” said the bench.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the central government, opposed her plea to quash the recommendation, saying the President has approved the appointment of Justice Dattu as the next CJI on Sep 5.

The ASG also argued that the petition is frivolous and should not be entertained.

The 51-year-old complainant alleged in her plea: “Quash recommendations reported to have been made by government - as council of ministers - to the President to appoint Justice HL Dattu as the Chief Justice of India.”

She 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. | Supreme Court, sexual harassment

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