A Dalit woman, Chanda Devi, was harassed by sub-judge Naeem Ansari of Garhwa District Court to form sexual relations, convert to Islam and marry him. Chanda Devi shared phone audio recordings of Ansari’s calls to her with authorities. After the audio recordings were leaked and went viral, the Jharkhand High Court finally suspended Naeem Ansari with effect from 27 February and initiated departmental proceedings against him.
Chanda Devi, who is working as a PLV (Para-legal Volunteer) in the Garhwa district court, had complained about Ansari’s objectionable behaviour and handed over a CD containing the audio evidence to the Principal District Judge (PDJ). 2 days after she lodged her complaint, Naeem Ansari filed a case of extortion and obstructing official work against Chanda Devi, and got her arrested.
On 26 February, Chanda Devi came out on bail and went public with her charges against Ansari. She said that the sub-judge was pressurizing her to convert to Islam and marry him, and that putting her in jail was an attempt to silence her. She said that if need be, she would approach the Supreme Court to fight the injustice done to her.
She claimed that apart from his official phone, the judge also made her calls from private numbers. He used to call her multiple times, pressurizing her to make physical relations with him and to persuade her for marriage. He asked her to leave her family, and said he would leave his. He used to browbeat her after calling her into his office. He told her that he would take her to Ajmer Sharif after converting her to Islam. But she didn’t succumb to his tactics despite his intimidation.
The sub-judge has refused to comment on the case citing that the matter is ongoing in the court. The SP said that a request letter has been sent to the PDJ for registering an FIR against the sub-judge. . Further action will be initiated after getting the approval. He said that relevant evidences such as the mobile phone have been secured.
This case is another reflection on the sad state of our judiciary & entire law & order machinery today. When the lady had already complained to the PDJ and provided solid evidence, why wasn’t any action taken against the sub-judge? On the contrary, in a complete mockery of justice, the lady herself was arrested on false charges.
It was only when the audio recording went viral and the higher-ups sensed negative publicity, that the system kicked into action. Even now, Naeem Ansari has only been suspended, and approval for lodging an FIR is still awaited!
Our higher judiciary would do well to look into such systemic flaws within their ranks, rather than playing to the Lutyens’ media gallery and entertaining frivolous PILs by FCRA-funded NGOs and other known busybodies.