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Complainant Says Clean Chit To CJI 'Gross Injustice'


07 May 2019

OMMCOM NEWS


New Delhi:   After a clean chit to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday in the sexual harassment case, the complainant in a statement has said she is highly disappointed to learn that the "in-house committee has found no substance in my complaint" and that she felt gross injustice has been done to her.

The woman said she is "now extremely scared and terrified" as evidence on record has been rejected by the Supreme Court committee. "I and my family members remain vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack," she said in a statement to the media.

The woman's statement has come hours after a three-judge in-house committee probing the CJI on allegations of sexual harassment claimed that no substance was found against him. The woman claimed that her accusation in the affidavit sent to the Supreme Court judges is "substantiated by documents and is verifiable."

The former SC employee also said that she is not just "highly disappointed and dejected" to learn that the in-house committee appointed by the Supreme Court found "no substance" in her sexual harassment complaint, but also felt that "gross injustice" has been done.

According to her, "the committee has announced that I will not even be provided a copy of the report, and so I have no way of comprehending the reasons and basis for the summary dismissal of my complaint of sexual harassment and victimization."

The woman said she would consult her lawyer and decide on the next course of action. "Today, I am on the verge of losing faith in the idea of justice," she said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court-appointed three-judge in-house committee probing the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi gave a clean chit to him.

A statement issued by the top court said: "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." 

The in-house panel comprised Justice S.A. Bobde, the second most-senior judge in the apex court, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Indu Malhotra.

The committee submitted its report on May 5 in accordance with the "in-house procedure to the next senior-most judge competent to receive the report and also sent a copy of the report to the judge concerned, the Chief Justice India." 

The court also said that the "in-house procedure was not liable to be made public."

On Sunday, the apex court had issued a statement declining that Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Rohinton Nariman had met Justice Bobde, who was heading the panel probing the sexual harassment allegations. It was claimed that Justices Chandrachud and Nariman had met the members of the in-house committee on the evening of May 3 to register their concerns over continuing with the probe involving the CJI in the absence of the complainant.

In a press release issued on Sunday, SC Secretary General Sanjeev Kalgaonkar said: "This is wholly incorrect. The in-house committee... deliberates on its own without any input from any other honourable judge of this court."

On April 30, the former employee of the Supreme Court, who accused the CJI of sexually harassing her, had said that she would no longer appear before the in-house panel set up by the apex court.

The committee was formed after the woman on April 19 leveled allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice Gogoi reportedly in a letter addressed to 22 judges of the Supreme Court.

(IANS)