06 May 2019
SC panel gives clean chit to CJI in sexual-harassment case
The Supreme Court in-house committee, which was probing a case of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, submitted its report today, giving the CJI a clean chit.
On April 19, a former junior court assistant had sent an affidavit to 22 Supreme Court judges, where she alleged that the CJI had harassed her back in October 2018.
Here are more details.
SC panel 'not liable' to make committee report public
A notice from the Supreme Court read, "The In-House Committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the Complaint date 19.4.2019 of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India," adding that the committee's report "is not liable to be made public."
The three-judge inquiry panel was headed by Justice SA Bobde and comprised of Justices Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra.
Justice DY Chandrachud met with the inquiry panel
A report published by The Indian Express today stated that Justice DY Chandrachud had held a meeting with Justice Bobde on May 2 to discuss the contents of a letter written by the former to the inquiry committee.
Reportedly, the letter cited the complainant's grievances when she backed out of proceedings.
The letter also requested the inclusion of an external member on the panel.
Complainant refused to participate in proceedings as justice 'unlikely'
To recall, the complainant had refused to participate in proceedings last week as she felt she was "not likely" to get justice.
The complainant had cited several issues with the inquiry, such as not being allowed legal representation, no video or audio recording of the panel proceedings, and not being given a copy of her statements recorded on April 26 and 29, 2019.
The complainant alleged CJI harassed and intimidated her
In her affidavit dated April 19, the complainant had alleged that the CJI sexually harassed her when she was appointed at his residence office.
After the alleged harassment, she claimed disciplinary action was initiated against her and she was dismissed from service in December.
She claimed a false bribery case was registered against her in March, and her family was intimidated and victimized.
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Chandrachud's letter was written in consultation with 17 SC judges
Incidentally, sources also told The Indian Express that Justice Chandrachud's letter was "written after informal consultations with more than 17 judges," out of the apex court's 22 judges, excluding the CJI, the three judges on the inquiry committee and Justice NV Ramana.