In a significant development, the Tripura High Court has transferred Biswatosh Dhar, a Civil Judge from Kamalpur, who stands accused of sexually harassing a rape survivor in his chambers. The transfer was formalized through a notification dated February 23, 2024, signed by the High Court Registrar General.

The notification directed Biswatosh Dhar to report immediately to the High Court and specified that he would be placed on ‘compulsory waiting for future posting.’ Furthermore, it outlined that Madhumita Biswas, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate-cum-Civil Judge from Kamalpur, would assume charge of Dhar’s office until further instructions.

The allegations against Dhar surfaced when a 23-year-old woman accused him of inappropriate behavior during her visit to his chambers to record her statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) after being allegedly raped by another individual. Following the incident, the woman’s husband brought the matter to the attention of the Kamalpur Bar Association, prompting an investigation.

Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) empowers judicial magistrates to record the voluntary statements or confessions of individuals involved in criminal cases at any stage of investigation, inquiry, or trial. These statements must be made voluntarily, without coercion or inducement, and are admissible as evidence in court proceedings. The magistrate must follow a prescribed procedure, ensuring the presence of the accused’s lawyer if requested, and accurately recording the statement in writing, signed by both the magistrate and the individual providing the statement. This provision serves to uphold fairness, transparency, and legal standards in the criminal justice system by facilitating the collection of reliable evidence through judicial oversight.

A three-member fact-finding team, led by Dhalai District & Sessions Judge Gautam Sarkar, was subsequently constituted to look into the allegations.

The transfer of Biswatosh Dhar underscores the judiciary’s commitment to addressing allegations of misconduct and ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all individuals accessing the legal system. It also highlights the importance of prompt and decisive action in response to such serious allegations.

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