In the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former woman employee of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, on Monday, got a clean chit from the apex court's In-House Inquiry Committee which "has found no substance".
The 3-member committee proceeded ex-parte as the woman had opted out of the inquiry on April 30 after participating for three days. The committee completed its task in 14 days.
On Monday, after the office of apex court's Secretary General came out with the findings of the committee, the woman issued a press statement. She said that she was "highly disappointed and dejected". She said "gross injustice" has been done to her as a woman citizen of India and "worst fears" have come true and all hope of justice and redress from the highest Court of the land have been shattered.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi gets clean chit: Top points
- Woman said that she will consult her lawyer and decide on the next steps.
- A notice by the office of Supreme Court Secretary General said the report of the Committee, headed by Justice S A Bobde, "is not liable to be made public".
- The Committee, also comprising two woman judges of the apex court -- Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee -- had on May 1 recorded the statement of the CJI who had appeared before it.
- "The In-House Committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19, 2019 of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India. Please take note that in case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India and Anr (2003), it has been held that the report of a committee constituted as a part of the In-House Procedure is not liable to be made public," the notice said.
- It further said: "The In House Committee has submitted its report dated May 5, 2019 in accordance with the In House Procedure, to the next senior judge competent to receive the report and also sent a copy to the judge concerned, namely, the CJI."
- The Committee submitted its report to Justice Arun Mishra -- number four in seniority.
- After the CJI, Justice Bobde is the next senior most judge, followed by Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and R F Nariman.
- The panel was constituted on April 23, 2019.
- On April 25, Justice Ramana recused himself after the complainant expressed her reservations over his inclusion on the ground that he is a close friend of the CJI and a regular visitor to his house.
- In Justice Ramana's place, Justice Bobde had inducted Justice Malhotra as she had also alleged that the Committee was not formed in accordance with the Vishaka guidelines laid by the top court.
(With inputs from PTI)