On Tuesday, a three-judge panel, led by Justice SA Bobde was formed to investigate the sexual harassment allegations leveled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi by a former staffer.
Justice Bobde is the senior-most judge of the top court after CJI Gogoi.
The other members on the panel are Justice NV Ramana, the third senior-most judge, and Justice Indira Banerjee.
Justice Bobde confirmed the development. He said, "The CJI wanted an inquiry. I was asked to do it. I then asked Justice Ramana and Justice Indira Banerjee to be on the inquiry with me."
The inquiry is not a judiciary one, but a departmental one, confirmed reports. The proceedings will begin on Friday afternoon.
The accuser has already been sent a notice.
"It is an in-house inquiry, the notice has been sent to the complainant and will go out to the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court too whom we want to be present. It will start on Friday afternoon," Justice Bobde said.
The concerning allegations surfaced last weekend when the accuser sent an affidavit to 22 SC judges. The woman alleged CJI Gogoi harassed her at his home office in October 2018.
She claimed CJI Gogoi "touched" her all over the body and after she rebuffed him, she was transferred thrice to various sections of SC.
According to her, her family was harassed as well.
The woman, a former junior assistant at the top court, was sacked on December 21, 2018. After the allegations rocked SC, CJI Gogoi held an unprecedented hearing.
Sitting on a bench along with his brother judges Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, CJI Gogoi dismissed the allegations.
He claimed the independence of SC was under attack and revealed his bank balance to prove innocence (?).
While CJI Gogoi got support from several quarters, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and SC Employees Welfare Association, there were others who questioned his presence on the bench.
Former SC judge N Santosh Hegde said on Tuesday, "He (the CJI) has participated in the dialog there, he has not signed the order, two other judges have signed the order. What's the meaning of this?"
Separately, SC lawyer Utsav Singh Bains, filed an affidavit on April 22 claiming that allegations were leveled as part of "larger conspiracy".
Bains said a man, claiming to be a relative of the accuser, approached him to frame CJI Gogoi in "false case" and offered Rs. 1.5 crore.
However, when Bains questioned his relationship with the woman, the man turned evasive.
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