Let my life be DISMISSED: Female judge in Banda writes to CJI

NEW DELHI | Updated: 15 December, 2023 2:14 pm IST
CJI Justice DY Chandrachud

NEW DELHI: A female judge, Arpita Sahu, from Banda district in Uttar Pradesh, penned a letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI), revealing her distress and the harassment she endured at her workplace, pleading for permission to end her life.

Letter written by Arpita Sahu to CJI

“When I, as a judge, raised my voice for justice, the entire case was unheard after an 8-second hearing. I joined the judicial service to deliver justice to people, but now I am facing injustice myself. Now, I have no option left other than suicide. Therefore, I request permission for euthanasia”, said Sahu.

The date of the letter expressing the desire for euthanasia, now made public, is December 15. The judge acknowledged sending the letter to friends, speculating that it might have been circulated by them.

“No one listens, no one bothers. Complaints result in torture. Submission is expected. This includes the Supreme Court. Eight seconds of hearing, insults, and threats to impose costs. The pressure to commit suicide becomes overwhelming. If you’re fortunate (unlike me), your first attempt may succeed. For any woman considering fighting the system, I must confess, I couldn’t,” the letter read.

She alleged that her male colleagues subjected her to torture, especially after she declined a night meeting invitation.

“They deliberately tortured me. I was asked to meet them after dinner at night. When I refused, I was targeted. If anyone made a mistake, they only targeted me. It was happening repeatedly.”

“Just one sentence and DISMISSED. It felt like my life, dignity, and soul were DISMISSED. A personal humiliation. The inquiry, controlled by the District Judge, offers little hope. How can I provide justice when I am hopeless? Life has lost purpose. Permit me a dignified end. Let my life be: DISMISSED,” the letter concluded.

Referring to the court boycott in Barabanki, the judge disclosed that she faced torture from her supervisors, and senior judges, during an incident on October 7, 2022.

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“The Barabanki Court boycott you heard about happened in my court. I was being tormented. They are my supervisors, and senior judges, holding my Annual Confidential Report (ACR). They tarnished my ACR. How can justice prevail when the hearing favours the accused,” said Sahu.

The lady judge recounted to reporters about what happened on October 7, 2022. The lawyers’ group in Barabanki decided not to work with the judges, and things got ugly. Around 10 am, while she was working in the courtroom, some of these lawyers, along with their leaders, barged in. They started verbally abusing her and even cut off the power in the room.

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