A lower court judge in Tamil Nadu has served his office assistant, a 47-year-old Dalit woman, a memo for failing to do her duty. Apparently, her duty includes washing his undergarment.
On February 1, subordinate judge D Selvam of Sathyamangalam court, issued the memo asking her why no disciplinary action should be taken against her for failing to wash his inner wear, reported The Indian Express.
"Please explain within 7 days why disciplinary action should not be initiated against you for your failure to wash the inner wear which were put for washing in the Sub-Judge’s house, and for throwing them away disgustingly, and when your attitude was questioned by the officer and his wife for retorting in an arrogant tone,” said the memo.
Three days later, the woman responded, requesting the judge to close the disciplinary action against her. “I humbly submit that I will guard against any lapses in the future and undertake to do my duties properly. I request that the disciplinary action against me may please be closed,” she wrote.
The woman has since then been going to the judge's house to work as usual "without engaging in any conversation with his wife."
A Class 10 pass out, the assistant was appointed nearly nine years ago. She is the sole earning member of her family as her husband is unwell.
Judge Selvam told the Express that he cannot “react immediately” as the memo “was issued a month ago”.
The judicial employees' association in Tamil Nadu is now preparing to approach the Madras High Court regarding the memo.
However, the behaviour of the judge doesn't come across as a surprise given that Tamil Nadu has seen similar incidents in the past. In 2012, an office assistant was reportedly asked to mop and sweep a judge’s house. A judicial magistrate at Valliyoor court suspended her office assistant in 2012 because she couldn't cook fish curry.
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