The hearing in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a former law intern (Petitioner) against ex-Supreme Court judge Justice Swatanter Kumar will commence on March 26. Justice Kumar, who is the current Chairperson of National Green Tribunal, has been accused of sexually harassing the intern during her internship..The matter was heard today by a Division Bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi which adjourned the matter to March 26 so that it could be heard by a 3-judge Bench..Senior Advocate KK Venugopal appeared for Justice Kumar today. Senior Advocate Harish Salve is representing the Petitioner while Senior Counsel Shekhar Naphade would be appearing on behalf of petitioners in the Vishaka judgment who have intervened in the matter..Since Salve was on his legs in the Delhi High Court, Advocate Vrinda Grover appeared for the Petitioner today. Two other petitioners also sought intervention in the matter but the Court said that it would hear their plea during the hearing of the main matter. Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati and Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran appeared for the Centre..Meanwhile in response to the notice, Justice Kumar has filed a 3-page affidavit. In the affidavit, a copy of which is with Bar & Bench, Justice Kumar has stated that,.“He specifically denies all the allegations made by the petitioner…in regard to the alleged incidents of sexual harassment…Such allegations are not only malicious but are intended to malign the image of the [ ] Respondent.”.Regarding formulation of a permanent mechanism to inquire into complaints of sexual harassment against sitting and retired judicial officers Justice Kumar has stated that “it is within the discretion of the court and the able guidance of amicus curiae.” Stating that the correct legal position in this regard is contained in the Full Court resolution dated December 5, 2013 Justice Kumar has also stated that his advocates would be willing to provide all assistance to the Court in this regard..In the previous hearing, the Court had issued notice to the Supreme Court, Centre and Justice Kumar and had also sought the assistance of Senior Advocates PP Rao and Fali S Nariman in the matter. Initially the Court had sought the assistance of Senior Counsel KK Venugopal along with Senior Counsel Fali Nariman in the matter. However, KK Venugopal is learned to have excused himself and would now be appearing for Justice Kumar..The Petitioner in her PIL has asked for the constitution of a committee headed by a woman with an external member to inquire into the allegations against Justice Kumar. The Petitioner has also challenged the constitutionality and legitimacy of the Full Court Resolution dated December 5, 2013 and letter dated December 13, 2013, issued by the Secretary General of the Supreme Court that complaint(s) against former judges will not be entertained by the Supreme Court. Another significant plea in the petition is the one for the establishment of a formal process to examine sexual harassment complaints against members of the judiciary..Earlier Justice Kumar had filed a defamation suit against media houses in the Delhi High Court (HC) seeking to restrain them from publishing news pertaining to the law intern’s allegation of sexual harassment (except judicial orders) and claiming damages to the extent of Rs. 5 crore. The HC had granted him interim relief by restraining the media from publishing or airing content on the intern harassment case till the hearing to be held on February 24, 2013. The HC had also restricted the use of Justice Kumar’s picture in news articles published in connection with this case. The restrictions on reporting however, do not apply to court proceedings related to the allegations.