Another lawyer alleges sexual harassment

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 11:52 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IBNS) Another young lawyer has alleged that she was sexually harassed a former Supreme Court judge.

This comes days after young lawyer Stella James alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a now retired Supreme Court judge last December.

Legally India, a website on law-related news and firms, the woman disclosed the incident on social networking site Facebook.

According to the website, the law intern wrote in her Facebook comment: "The funny part is, it was very likely that i would have been the person in [Stella James]'s place. I've been at the receiving end of unsolicited sexual advance more than once , and so has she. And we kept attributing all the signs of leeriness to our hypersensitivity to such situations, mistrusting our instincts.

"We discussed innocuously said off colour remarks and dismissed their creepiness because we really respected him [the judge], and the possibility seemed at odds with everything we knew about him, his ideas about feminism, patriarchy, social justice."

Legally India did not disclose the woman´s name.

"The Second Intern was not reachable and did not respond to requests for comment or agree to disclosure of her identity. However, Legally Indiareliably understands that she was also an intern of the same judge with whom SJ had interned," the website said.

Hours after the news of Stella alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a now retired Supreme Court judge last December went viral, the apex court set up a panel on Tuesday to probe the allegation of the young woman published in a blog post.

A three member judges´ panel of the Supreme Court will investigate the charges of the woman.

The panel was set up by the Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam.

"We cannot take it lightly. As the head of the institution, I am also concerned about the allegation and anxious whether the statement is true or not," CJI Sathasivam was quoted in media saying.

Justice Dattu, Justice Desai and Justice Lodha are on the panel.

Stella, who is a Fellow at Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment, blogged: "In Delhi at that time (during protests against the brutal Dec 16 gangrape), interning during the winter vacations of my final year in University, I dodged police barricades and fatigue to go to the assistance of a highly reputed, recently retired Supreme Court judge whom I was working under during my penultimate semester.

"For my supposed diligence, I was rewarded with sexual assault (not physically injurious, but nevertheless violating) from a man old enough to be my grandfather."

"I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that long after I'd left the room, the memory remained, in fact, still remains, with me," she wrote in her blog for Journal of Indian Law and Society.

She said the incident affected her deeply.

"As a conditioned member of the society, I had quickly ´gotten over´ the incident. But was that what worried me: that I had accepted what was essentially an 'unacceptable' situation," said Stella.

"While the incident affected me deeply, I felt little anger and almost no rancour towards the man; instead I was shocked and hurt that someone I respected so much would do something like this. My strongest reaction really, was overwhelming sadness," she said.

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