NLU Rubbishes Topper’s Claim; Says It Caused CJI ‘Inconvenience’
After National Law University topper Surbhi Karwa missed her convocation ceremony because reportedly she did not want to be honoured by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, the university released a press statement today. The statement alleges that the Indian Express report is “based on incorrect facts and information.” It goes on to share that this instance has ‘highly perturbed’ and it has caused ‘unnecessary inconvenience’ to the Chief Justice of India.
The news report claimed that she reportedly skipped the ceremony because of how the Supreme Court handled the sexual harassment case against the CJI. The statement dismisses her claim that she was going to be awarded by CJI Gogoi. “As per the scheme of award finalised by the University, no medal was to be awarded to LL.M. topper by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India. Nor did the University ever make any such communication to any student including Ms Surabhi Karwa. In fact, the said topper was to receive the medal from Mr Vijay Dev, Chief Secretary, Delhi NCT. The medals were also given by other dignitaries’ present,” the statement reads.
The University notes that Karwa never raised her concerns with them and did not even attend the rehearsal of the convocation on August 16.
SheThePeople.TV reached out to Surbhi Karwa but she declined to comment.
Her absence in the convocation made headlines in the last two days after she chose not to attend her convocation ceremony on Saturday. She spoke up about her absence to Indian Express and said, “Everything I learnt in the classroom put me in a moral quandary over the last few weeks on whether I should receive the award from CJI Gogoi. The institution he heads failed when sexual harassment allegations were made against him…I am seeking answers for myself on the role lawyers must play in guarding Constitutional values, and that is something even the CJI mentioned in his speech.”
In their statement, the university has also intimidated that they intend to take up “this matter with utmost sincerity and proposes to take up all necessary measures in this direction.”
As per the scheme of award finalised by the University, no medal was to be awarded to LL.M. topper by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India. Nor did the University ever make any such communication to any student including Ms Surabhi Karwa.
On May 6 this year, the in-house inquiry panel of the Supreme Court gave clean chit to CJI Gogoi in the sexual harassment case filed by his former Supreme Court junior assistant. She wrote a sworn affidavit and sent it to 22 Supreme Court judges on April 19 accusing him of sexual harassment including forcefully hugging her in 2018 after which he dismissed her from duty. In the affidavit, she also accused Gogoi of ill-treating her after she refused to succumb to his alleged sexual advances.
However, the SC failed to find any substance in allegations against the CJI and refused to share the copy of the judgment with the complainant. After the judgment, she told the media that she was highly dejected and disappointed to learn that the in-house Committee “has found no substance” in her complaint and felt that gross injustice has been done to her as a woman citizen of India.
This case caused huge uproar across the country as people in various parts of the country took time out to protest against the handling of the case. Several activists and protestors were also detained by the police while observing silent protests.
Picture credit: Bar And Bench