New Delhi: Section 144 has been imposed outside Supreme Court on Tuesday after women lawyers and activists protested against the procedure adopted to deal with sexual harassment case against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi. The protesters shouted slogans outside the apex court and questioned the clean chit given to Gogoi by an in-house three member committee of the SC in a sexual harassment case.
If reports are to be believed, the protesters, who came out openly in favour of the complainant demanded the report should be shared with her. “Procedure seems to be totally unjust… Why can’t the victim be given the report? It’s wrong. When they are dismissing the matter, more questions are being raised about the procedures adopted by the Supreme Court. It’s injustice,” NDTV quoted CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat as saying.
Earlier on Monday, the woman who had accused Gogoi of misconduct had issued a press statement after the three-member panel found ‘no substance’ in the sexual harassment allegations against the CJI. A notice by the office of Supreme Court Secretary-General also said that the report of the committee constituted as part of the in-house procedure was not liable to be made public.
“I am 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,” read the statement by the woman. She asserted that “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.
The woman also said that her family “remains vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack” and that she was “extremely scared and terrified”. She said that she will consult her lawyer and decide on the next steps.
Sexual harassment allegations against the CJI came to light on April 20 when a former apex court staffer alleged that she was sexually harassed and was then terminated from her post. The victim had also mentioned in her affidavit that she was continuously harassed until her termination which led to a frivolous FIR filed in March this year against her and her family.
Howver, the CJI denied the allegations, and called it a ‘conspiracy to destabilise judiciary’.