Woman accuses CJI Gogoi of sexual harassment, Secretary General responds
In a shocking incident, a 35-year-old woman accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment on Friday. The woman, who worked as junior court assistant in Supreme Court, sent an affidavit to 22 judges detailing the alleged abuse she faced. Soon, Secretary General of the apex court replied on the allegation and termed them false. Here's what went down.
CJI Gogoi allegedly harassed woman after being elevated
The woman alleged she was harassed in October 2018, days after CJI Gogoi took office. He allegedly made sexual advances towards her at his residence office on October 11 and 12, she claimed. "He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine, and did not let," the woman claimed.
Woman claimed CJI Gogoi asked her to remain quiet
The woman claimed she was forced to push CJI Gogoi "away with her hands". She added that he warned her to not speak about the incident with anyone. She revealed that in four weeks after the alleged incidents, she was transferred thrice to different sections of SC. By November, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against her and on December 21, 2018, she was dismissed.
Woman claimed her husband and brother-in-law lost their jobs
The alleged victim claimed that her husband and brother-in-law, who worked with Delhi police, were removed from their jobs by 2018 end. In March, Haryana resident Naveen Kumar filed an FIR against the woman alleging that she took Rs. 50,000 bribe for getting him a job at SC. In her affidavit, the woman termed Kumar's allegations "false and premeditated to harass and terrorize me and my family".
Woman claimed SHO tortured her
The woman revealed that she went to a Tilak Marg Police Station in connection to Kumar's case, where she was tortured. The SHO allegedly "handcuffed one of her legs to a sitting bench for a whole night, kicked her and verbally abused her". Subsequently, she was sent to Tihar jail for one day and was granted bail on March 12.
Denying claims, SC said woman didn't interact with CJI Gogoi
Replying to the serious allegations of the woman, Secretary General said the claims are "absolutely false and scurrilous and are totally denied". The Secretary General said that along with the woman 5-6 other people also worked at CJI's home office. She worked at the home office for a short period and had no interaction with CJI Gogoi, the statement added.
Secretary General reminded of criminal case against the woman
"There is a criminal case pending against her, where a very serious allegation has been made, of her having taken a bribe to assure employment in the Supreme Court of India. It has been learned that there is an application for the cancellation of bail earlier granted to her, which is listed for hearing on 20.04.2019," the statement added.
Secretary General said the woman was accused of inappropriate behavior
Furthermore, the Secretary General added "there were no complaints made by her of nature now being alleged" when she was employed at CJI's home or when she was working in SC. "On the other hand, in the interregnum, there were complaints made against her by the secretariat of CJI, to the Secretary General on account of her inappropriate behavior," the statement read.
Mischievous forces want to malign the institution: Secretary General
"It appears that these false allegations are being made asa pressure tactics to somehow come out of the various proceedings. It is also very possible that there are mischievous forces behind all this, with an intention to malign the institution," the statement read.