Retd judge urges CJ to hear sexual assault case
A retired judge of the Bombay High Court of Bombay and Karnataka has written to Madras High Court Chief Justice AP Sahi to expeditiously hear a sexual harassment case filed against a priest in 2016.
In his letter, retired judge Michael F Saldanha pointed out that even four years after the complaint, following which the High Court had issued notice to the college where both the priest and the complainant were working, the case has not progressed and not even the reply was filed.
He expressed hurt because it reflected very seriously on the working of the judiciary, and sought the Chief Justice to call for the case records in the petition filed by Mary Rajasekaran and direct its expeditious disposal. Mary Rajasekaran, a senior lady faculty member of Loyola College, had approached the High Court in 2016 with a petition alleging sexual harassment at the workplace by Rev Fr Xavier Alphonse. Mary’s experience was a classic instance where even if the petitioner succeeded after having been tortured and humiliated, she could never get back into academic profession because of the age factor. At best, she would be entitled to monetary compensation, but that would be decided by the court, he added.
“One of the principle ingredients of the concept of justice is the time factor which postulates that justice delayed is justice denied. I prefer to say that even belated Justice is the next best,” Saldanha added in his letter.