22 Apr 2019
SC benches started hearings at 10:45 AM, 15 minutes late
On Monday, all benches of the Supreme Court commenced at 10:45 AM, 15 minutes past the actual time.
The bench included justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, and business went on as usual with lawyers listing matters for urgent hearing.
Delay in commencement led to speculations about a meeting
The delay in starting the proceedings led to speculations among lawyers that judges had a meeting.
On Saturday, after the allegations had surfaced, CJI led bench held an unprecedented hearing to dismiss them.
CJI Gogoi said the allegations were made to undermine the independent judiciary and left it to his brother judges to pass an order on the same.
Meanwhile, Jaitley stood by CJI Gogoi
Notably, CJI Gogoi has garnered support from many, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
On his Facebook account, Jaitley said it was time to step up for judiciary and slammed "institutional disrupters" who lend a shoulder to unverified allegations.
"In terms of personal decency, values, ethics, and integrity, the present Chief Justice of India is extremely well regarded," he had written.
Complainant had revealed the abuse affected her family too
To recall, the woman who accused CJI Gogoi of sexual misconduct worked as a former junior assistant at the SC.
She sent affidavits to 22 SC judges detailing the abuse in hope of getting justice. The complainant, who lost her job last year, claimed her family was tortured in the last few months.
Her husband and brother-in-law were sacked from jobs at Delhi police.
CJI Gogoi touched me all over my body: Complainant
The alleged abuse dates back to October'18, when she worked at CJI Gogoi's home office. In her complaint, she wrote, "He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine."
After she allegedly rebuffed CJI Gogoi, she was transferred thrice to different departments of SC.
Her behavior was questioned as well.
Meanwhile, SC Employees Welfare Association lent support to CJI Gogoi
Despite the serious allegations, most have pledged support to CJI Gogoi. A short while ago, SC Employees Welfare Association condemned the "fabricated" claims.
"In this hour of time the entire staff is united and stand firmly with the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India to defeat the malicious attempt of external forces to target the Indian judiciary," their statement read.
Jaitley questioned why complainant distributed affidavits to SC judges
"Such complaints, when they are made in the ordinary course of any administrative functioning, are referred to the appropriate Committee. However, when the complainant distributes copies of her representation to other Judges of the Supreme Court and the media in order to sensationalize her allegations, it ceases to be routine," Jaitley wrote.