NUJS Sexual Harassment Case: Supreme Court Set Aside the Order of Calcutta High Court

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Supreme_Court_of_India_The hon’ble Apex Court recently has set aside the order issued by the High Court of Calcutta which declined to cancel the bail to the employee of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. The accused, Siddhartha Guha was the Assistant Registrar of the University in the administrative department had sexually harassed another lady working in the University. The accused was already suspended from service when the accusation was raised. Last year, on 26th of July, the employee of the University had filed complaint against the accused before the Bidhannagar Police Station for sexual harassment. The Calcutta High Court had directed for hearing to be conducted once again.

As per the First Information Report, the accused asked to have sexual relationship with the lady and also followed her. It is also alleged that he had many times tried to physically disturb the victim. When the victim refused to obey his demands, the accused threatened her by showing a bottle of acid and some fearsome photographs. He also caused discomfort to her by following her all over in the workplace. After five months, accused was arrested and at this period of time he approached the Courts for getting anticipatory bail. But he failed to get anticipatory bail but was granted bail 14 days after his arrest.

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The advocate appearing for the victim approached the hon’ble High Court of Calcutta for cancelling his bail but could not succeed. Hence advocates Siddharth Dave and Edulji took over the case for the victim and moved the Supreme Court under Special Leave Petition challenging the order of High Court. Here, the victim complained that the accused is frightening to assault her with acid if she continued with the case.

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The bench consisted of Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice N V Ramana who set aside the order of the Calcutta High Court which declined to cancel the bail of the accused. Further, the victim was granted Special Leave by the High Court to approach the high court once again. She was also directed to produce evidence for the threats caused by the accused to her during the pendency of the case.