New Delhi: Noted Jurist Soli Sorabjee said the Inquiry Committee was “absolutely correct” in holding that there is no substance in the allegations levelled against the Chief Justice.
The senior advocate was also of the view that the complainant should not have walked out of the proceedings, after which the three-member committee proceeded ex-parte.
“The inquiry was done by independent judges,” Sorabjee said.
On whether it was right for the panel to proceed ex-parte, he said the woman chose to walk out, she was the complainant and she should not have done so.
The complainant had said: “I was compelled to walk out of the proceedings on the third day because the committee seemed not to appreciate the fact that this was not an ordinary complaint but was a complaint of sexual harassment against a sitting CJI, and therefore it was required to adopt a procedure that would ensure fairness and equality in the highly unequal circumstances that I am placed.”
She said: “I had hoped the approach of the committee towards me would be sensitive and not one that would cause me further fear, anxiety and trauma. I have not been informed if the committee has sought any response from the CJI to my complaint and I have been left guessing and anxious on all these matters.”
She said she joined and participated in the committee proceedings in good faith on April 26 and 29 with the hope that this committee would proceed in a manner that was fair to her and sensitive to her circumstances. Despite the fact that the committee was an in-house committee of sitting judges junior to the CJI, and not an external committee, she joined the proceedings with a lot of hope considering that the committee comprised of such eminent judges.
When she requested the committee to inform her about the procedure to be followed by the committee, to follow the requirements of the Vishakha guidelines and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Against Women at the Workplace Act, she was told it was an “informal inquiry” and no assistance of a lawyer would be rendered to her....