The in-house inquiry panel, comprising of Justices SA Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, have failed to find any substance in allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in the sexual harassment case filed by his former junior court assistant, said the apex court on Monday.
What The Woman Complainant Says
The woman complainant, who was a former Supreme Court junior assistant, said in a press release 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.
"I am now extremely scared and terrified because the In- House Committee, despite having all material placed before them, appears to have given me no justice or protection and said nothing about the absolutely malafide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family. I and my family members remain vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack.", she says.
Today, my worst fears have come true, and all hopes of justice and redress from the committee have been shattered. In fact 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 victimisation. - Woman complainant
She also mentioned that she had pointed out in her communication to the in-house committee that she needed to have her lawyer or support person present with her in the proceedings. She had also asked the committee to lay down the procedure that it would be following and also asked for the proceedings to be recorded so that there is no dispute about what transpired. However none of this was done and she was not even supplied a copy of her statement as recorded by the committee until after she was forced to walk out from the proceedings on the 30th of April 2019.
She expressed how her "worst fears have come true" and "all hopes of justice and redress from the committee" have been shattered. She stated how she would not be provided a copy of the report, and so she has no way of comprehending the reasons and basis for the summary dismissal of her complaint of sexual harassment and victimisation.
At the end, she said that she was at the verge of losing faith in the capacity of our system to deliver justice to the weak and vulnerable who are pitted against the powerful within the system itself.
I am now extremely scared and terrified because the In- House Committee, despite having all material placed before them, appears to have given me no justice or protection and said nothing about the absolutely malafide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family. - Complainant
What was the case?
On April 19, a former Supreme Court junior assistant has accused CJI Gogoi of sexual harassment including forcefully hugging her in 2018 after which he dismissed her from duty. She wrote a sworn affidavit and sent it to 22 Supreme Court judges explaining her ordeal caused due to alleged sexual harassment and misuse of power. She also accused Gogoi of ill-treating her after she refused to succumb to his alleged sexual advances. In the affidavit, she sought immediate protection from any “coercive action” by the Delhi police and made it evident that there was “a grave threat” to her life besides the lives of her family members.