CJI Ranjan Gogoi Alleged of Sexual Misconduct and the Need for Restoring the Sanctity of Judiciary

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi

CJI Ranjan Gogoi had been accused of sexual misconduct by a former assistant at the Supreme Court.  The unfolding of the case will determine the sanctity of Indian judiciary.

The New Leam Staff

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi / Image Credit : PTI /Kamal Singh

 A 21 pages long affidavit has been presented by a former Supreme Court employee that accuses the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for sexual misconduct, anxiety and troubles caused by the highest authority in the life of the victim (The Supreme Court employee) and her family. The incident was reported on Friday, 19th April 2019 when a former Junior Assistant at the Supreme Court decided to finally speak against the harassment which she was facing from the date of her appointment.

In the affidavit she mentions two dates on October 10 and 11, 2018 when she was allegedly harassed and she further added that since then she has been made to leave her job.

Not only she was troubled but after her annulment from the office her family members including her husband and her brother in law were tortured relentlessly.

The junior employee who helped during the Supreme Court proceedings in fetching the citations and documents from the court library wrote in the detailed affidavit that was published in The Wire that on several occasions she was called by the chief justice at his office where she was subjected to various kinds of advances made by the Chief Justice Of India (CJI) himself. On the pretext of lauding for the job she did and promotion at work Justice Gogoi tried to make several passes at her.

She further mentioned that the judge made her feel obligated and burden by giving her undue promotions and providing employment to her brother in Law. She wrote in the affidavit that she was given a transfer at the Chief Justice’s Residence Office where she was provided all kinds of VIP treatment which sometimes used to shock her as her degrees and skills never qualified her for that kind of luxury or job, but she never resented as she thought that this is the way it was.

But as she wrote, things went beyond her limit the day when the Chief Justice called her in his office and touched her in an appropriate manner to which resisted by first getting freeze and pushing back the CJI and leaving his office.  Minutes after she left she was called to his office and made to forcibly give it in writing that no form of misbehavior was observed by her in the CJI’s office. After the incidence and till date she and her family have been subjected to repeated torture at the hands of the CJI and therefore she decided to speak about the matter.

The Chief Justice himself has denied all the allegations made by the women and rather has termed it to be a large conspiracy which was being planted against him.

In a recent development with regard to the case, a Supreme Court lawyer  Utsav Bains has issued a statement that he was advanced a bribe of Rs. 1.5 crore for framing the charges against the CJI.

He said that the relative of the women who had accused AsaramBapu for rape had offered him the bribe but he denied thinking that the charges and accusations made against the CJI were baseless. The charges against the CJI are yet to be proved and the woman who is the victim in the case has requested the Supreme Court to immediately probe an inquiry in this case.

It is being debated whether the participation of the Chief Justice himself in the Supreme Court Bench that was supposed to examine the allegations leveled against him, is truly in tune with the proper way in which such an enquiry ought to have been conducted.  One of the two important questions that it raises is whether, CJI Gogoi could become a judge in a bench that examines a case against him?  Secondly, is there no proper mechanism of dealing with sexual harassment allegations against the CJI? Can a person become judge for a case pertaining to himself?  The decision and ultimate revelation in this case shall hold immense significance as far as retaining the sanctity of the highest body of justice in the nation goes. The developments of the case have definitely shaken people’s faith in India’s judiciary.

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