In a bizarre incident on Tuesday, a man in Karnataka appeared semi-naked on video during the hybrid court hearing at the Karnataka High Court. A bench headed by Chief Justice Rituraj Awasthi was hearing matters relating to the sex-for-jobs case in which former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has been named. The High Court has now issued a notice to the man who was seen on screen, after the incident was raised by senior advocate Indira Jaising, who was appearing for the survivor in the case.
The semi-naked man was visible and even found bathing, she said. She complained that she was exposed to it for about 20 minutes and she opined that the act seemed to be intentional and deliberate.
In a tweet, the senior advocate said, “I confirm that a semi-naked man was visible on the screen for a full 20 minutes despite my objection. I am making an official complaint for contempt of court and sexual harassment. It’s extremely disturbing in the middle of an argument in court.”
When Indira pointed out the issue to the court, the bench asked who the man was. Jaising said that the man was bathing and staring at her.
Jasingh: He is bathing before me. How is this allowed. One Mr Sreedhar Bhat. he is staring at me. How can your lordships permit this.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) November 30, 2021
HC: We are not seeing anything like this.
An advocate, who was part of the proceeding on Tuesday, told TNM that the man’s name appeared as Sreedhar Bhat on Zoom and he logged out of the Zoom call only after an officer of the court called him. Another person who was following the court proceedings said that the man was not a party to the case but was known to the court in connection with a different manner.
The person confirmed to TNM that the man logged out of the call only after an officer in the court called him. Since the start of virtual court hearings, the issue of decorum has come up in various courts of the country.
The divisional bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Sachin Shankar Magadum has now asked the police to issue the man a notice and asked that the electronic data in this connection be retrieved.