The law intern who has accused a former Supreme Court judge of sexual harassment on Monday sought transfer of the defamation case filed by the retired judge against her and some media houses in Delhi high court to a place in Bangalore saying the accused is "influential and enjoy the high position in the same court and chances of fair justice is slim."
Apprehending that she will not get fair justice in the case, the girl contended that the accused was a Delhi high court judge and he has proximity with the legal fraternity which is the reason why other lawyers have failed to represent her in the case earlier.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the intern cited the "influence" and high position the judge still enjoys in the bar and bench as he was a judge there a few years ago, said that more than 40 reputed lawyers had appeared for the judge in the last date of hearing.
Taking name of present Attorney General and other law officers, her counsel told the court among the battery of lawyers some are very eminent and others are in the central goverment law officers' panel.
Issuing notice to its former judge who is presently chairman of a Tribunal, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha asked him to file his response within four weeks on the girl's plea for shifting of the case out of Delhi.
The intern's lawyer submitted that when a judge becomes litigant in the same court, the matter must be heard in another court.
Jaising submitted the matter be heard in the Karnataka high court as the intern resides there and she is working with an NGO. The bench after hearing her contentions said, "We will have to go by the likelihood of the girl's apprehensions. Not only must Justice be done, it must also be seen to be done." The bench then asked senior advocate KK Venugopal, appearing for the judge, to file response within four weeks.
The bench refused to pass any interim order staying the high court proceedings after Venugopal told the bench that he will seek adjournment in the case before the high court in view of the transfer petition of the intern pending in this court.
The judge has already said the charges against him were part of a malicious conspiracy intended to damage his reputation. A defamation suit was filed by him in the Delhi high court against the woman intern and some media houses for allegations of sexual harassment made against him. He had demanded Rs five crore as damages from the woman lawyer and three media groups that publicised her complaint.