Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi denies sexually harassing assistant

Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi denies sexually harassing assistant

A lawyer today filed an affidavit claiming there is a conspiracy to frame the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a "false case of sexual harassment" that would force him to resign.

CJI Gogoi said, "Last evening I received 4 communications from Wire, Leaflet, Caravan and Scroll, saying a letter is circulated by a dismissed SC employee alleging that CJI has sought sexual favours".

An attempt was made to reach some of the former chief justices of India on the issue, but they said they did not want to be drawn into the controversy.

Shortly after some news portals came out with the news of the alleged incident, CJI Gogoi denied the allegations of sexual advances leveled against him and linked them to the charge to "bigger forces" and the upcoming "sensitive cases" he is to hear. Reacting to the allegation during the sitting, CJI Gogoi said, "All I would like to say is this, undoubtedly every employees are treated fairly and decently". No one pointed out that the chief justice should not be a part of a bench in a matter where he is being accused, regardless of whether or not the bench is passing an order.

Gogoi said the events showed that India's judiciary was under "serious threat" and was being destabilised by a larger conspiracy, without elaborating.

The Bar Association also demanded non-partisan enquiry into the matter.

In its statement, the Women in Criminal Law Association said, "Even before the allegations properly came to light, the stated objective of the sitting sought to change the conversation".

He added that the allegations meant to target and malign his reputation. She was later transferred to the main Supreme Court complex on October 22, following which she was transferred. Two months later, on December 21, she was dismissed from service, the report added.

She said she was asked to delete messages that between the two as confidential information was exchanged. The matter got listed as the first suo moto (civil) writ petition of 2019 under the case title: "Matter of Great Public Importance Touching upon the Independence of Judiciary - Mentioned by S-G Tushar Mehta". Her brother-in-law who is a person with disability and had been working as junior court attendant since October 9, was terminated on January 14, without giving any reason.

Another Association which goes by the name Women in Criminal Law Association also demanded an inquiry into the allegations and demanded that the CJI not hold office till it was complete.

Incidentally, former CJI Dipak Misra was sitting in a constitution bench when the next senior most judge J. Chelmeswar made a decision to deal with a case alleging financial improprieties mentioned before him.

Nobody can catch me on money. Rao supervised her when she was posted in the apex court's library.

One of the country's most respected institutions, the Supreme Court often rules on key policy matters and orders measures citing the public interest.

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