Rajasthan High Court Issues Interim Order in Judicial Officer Strip Search Case

Rajasthan HC halts coercive steps against judicial officer accused of strip search. Association challenges FIR citing judicial duty. Next hearing May 27.

The Rajasthan High Court has issued an interim order preventing any coercive actions against a judicial officer accused of asking a rape survivor to strip in court. This comes after the Rajasthan Judicial Services Officers Association filed a criminal writ petition challenging the registration of criminal charges against the officer.

Justice Anil Kumar Upman, presiding over the case, directed, "Till next date of hearing, no coercive steps shall be taken against the accused (concerned judicial officer) in connection with FIR ... registered at Police Station Hindon, District Karauli."

The Court also cautioned media against sensationalizing the matter, noting false or inaccurate reports in various media outlets. While acknowledging the importance of freedom of press, the Court stressed the need for responsible reporting, stating, "There should be some reasonable check on covering the instant case in media... till pendency of the writ petition."

The incident in question allegedly occurred when a rape survivor visited the Hindaun court to provide her statement on March 30. She claimed that the magistrate asked her to undress to examine her injuries. Subsequently, an FIR was filed against the judicial officer under IPC sections 354A, 354B, and provisions of the SC/ST Act.

The Rajasthan Judicial Services Officers Association contested the registration of the FIR, arguing that permission from the High Court's Chief Justice is required to file charges against a judicial officer for acts done in official capacity. Additionally, they disputed the need to invoke the SC/ST Act in this case.

The State challenged the association's standing to file the petition and questioned its maintainability. The Court deemed the matter worthy of further examination and issued notices to relevant parties, scheduling the next hearing for May 27.

Pending further proceedings, the Court ordered a halt on coercive actions against the accused judicial officer.

Advocates representing the Rajasthan Judicial Services Officers Association included Deepak Chauhan, Pratush Choudhary, Rajendra Singh, Ashok Choudhary, and Harsh Joshi. Government Advocate GS Rathore, along with advocates Santosh Singh Shekhawat and Tayab Ali, represented the Rajasthan government. Additional Solicitor General RD Rastogi, supported by advocates Chandra Shekhar Sinha and Devesh Yadav, represented the Union of India.