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Home / Politics / Policy /  Hamid Ansari forms panel to probe charges against HC judge

New Delhi: Vice-president if India and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari has set up a three-member panel to investigate sexual harassment charges against S.K. Gangele, a sitting judge of the Madhya Pradesh high court, nearly a month after admitting a motion supported by 58 Rajya Sabha members to impeach him.

The committee, to be headed by Supreme Court judge Vikramjit Sen, will have justice Manjula Chellur, chief justice of Calcutta high court and jurist K.K. Venugopal as its members, a Rajya Sabha notification said on Thursday. Last month, 58 MPs including Digvijaya Singh (Congress), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Derek O’ Brien (Trinamool Congress, or TMC), Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan (Samajwadi Party, or SP) had submitted a motion to Ansari for initiating the impeachment process against Gangele for alleged sexual harassment of a woman judge in Gwalior.

The committee will now investigate the charges and grounds for removal of the judge and submit its report to the Rajya Sabha chairman. The report will then be tabled in both Houses of Parliament along with evidences. Posted in the Gwalior bench, Gangele is now serving in the principal bench at Jabalpur. The motion was admitted by Ansari following which he wrote to Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu to nominate a judge from the Supreme Court and a chief justice of a high court for the probe panel. The motion lists three “grounds of misconduct" for impeachment: “sexual harassment" of the woman judge; “victimisation" of the judge “for not submitting to his illegal and immoral demands", including, but not limited to, transferring her from Gwalior to Sidhi; and “misusing" his position as the administrative judge of the MP high court to use the subordinate judiciary to victimise the judge. Other signatories include Satish Mishra (BSP), Anu Aga and H.K. Dua.

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