Clean Chit: ‘Gross Injustice,’ Says Woman Who Accused Chief Justice Gogoi Of Sexual Harassment
The former Supreme Court employee who accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment said she is “highly disappointed and dejected” about the in-house committee’s verdict giving him a clean chit.
“Gross injustice has been done to me as a woman citizen of India,” she said in a statement carried by The Leaflet. “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 mala fide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family.”
She will consult her lawyer and decide the next step, the woman said, adding that she is “on 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”.
This comes a day after Chief Justice Gogoi received a clean chit from the apex court's committee led by Justice SA Bobde. It found “no substance” in the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him. A notice by the office of Supreme Court secretary general said the report of the committee is not liable to be made public.
The woman, in her statement, said she had highlighted her reservations regarding the manner in which the inquiry was being held since the very beginning. She feared that it would not level the disproportionate power between her and the most powerful judge in the country.
“I had pointed out in my communication to the in-house committee that I need to have my lawyer present with me in the proceedings. I had also asked the committee to lay down the procedure that it would be following and asked for proceedings to be recorded so that there was no dispute about what transpired,” she wrote. The woman said none of this was done.
The woman said she was not provided with a copy of her statement until after she was forced to walk out from the proceedings on April 30. The Supreme Court panel yesterday released the ex-parte report, saying the woman had opted out of the inquiry after participating for three days.
She claims to have received a copy of the statement on May 4 around 8 p.m., which she submitted with corrections on May 6 around 10:30 a.m. to the registrar concerned at the Supreme Court.