CJI Ranjan Gogoi gets clean chit in sexual harassment case

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Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Republic Day in New Delhi on Saturday, January 26, 2019.
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Sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi have been dropped. A three-judge Supreme Court panel investigating the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India has given him a clean chit in the matter.

A committee comprising Justices S A Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra probed the 35-year-old woman’s allegations and gave a report which will not be made public.

sexual harassment - SA Bobde, Indu Malhotra, and Indira Banerjee
SA Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee

The in-house committee, which was headed by Justice SA Bobde, said that it did not find any substance in the allegations of a former Supreme Court employee who had accused CJI Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment.

A statement from the Supreme Court secretary general said the report has been submitted to “next senior judge competent to receive the report” as well as to the Chief Justice of India.

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Incidently, the woman who made the allegations opted out of the Supreme Court probe into the allegations against the chief justice. The woman said the atmosphere of the inquiry was very frightening.

On April 30, the alleged victim said she won’t appear before the three-judge panel of the apex court probing the case. She quoted:

“I felt I was not likely to get justice from this committee and so I am no longer participating in the 3 Judge Committee proceedings.”

The woman had also alleged that she had been followed by motorcycles, after she came out of the in-house committee hearing.

“After I left the first Committee hearing on the first day, I saw that the car I travelling by was being followed by two men on a motorcycle whose partial number I was able to note.”

Sexual harassment allegations had cropped up against the CJI on April 20 when a former apex court staffer alleged that she was sexually harassed and was then terminated from her post.

The CJI denied the allegations, and called it a ‘conspiracy to destabilise judiciary’. Dismissing the allegations, Gogoi said that he was hurt with the ‘baseless charges’ and that this was being leveled against him with an intention to malign his image.

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