Nation Current Affairs 08 May 2019 CJI sexual harassmen ...

CJI sexual harassment case: Victim asks panel for copy of inquiry report

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J. VENKATESAN
Published May 8, 2019, 12:43 am IST
Updated May 8, 2019, 12:48 am IST
The in-house committee submitted its report dated May 5 to Justice Arun Mishra, in accordance with the in-house procedure.
Members of various organisations being detained as they protest against Supreme Court in-house committee in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)
 Members of various organisations being detained as they protest against Supreme Court in-house committee in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: The former woman employee of the Supreme Court who had levelled sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has expressed “shock” at the Justice S.A. Bobde inquiry committee giving a clean chit to the CJI, saying there is “no substance” in her complaint.

In a letter written on Tuesday to the inquiry committee, which included two woman judges — Justices Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra — she also sought a copy of the report contending that she had a right to have access to this report.

 

She said despite her detailed affidavit, ample corroborative evidence and a clear, consistent statement before the committee reiterating her experience of sexual harassment and consequent victimisation, the committee had found “no substance” in her complaint and affidavit.

The in-house committee submitted its report dated May 5 to Justice Arun Mishra, in accordance with the in-house procedure, and also sent a copy to the Chief Justice of India.

She said, “I am shocked that the committee has come to an adverse finding against me despite the fact that I was compelled to withdraw from the committee since the committee did not observe even the most basic principles of natural justice. From the beginning, I have been treated as an outsider, I have not been informed of the procedure, I have not been informed of my basic rights and obligations with regard to the inquiry proceedings.”

She further said: “From the beginning there has been a lack of transparency in the functioning of the committee and great prejudice is being caused to me repeatedly. While in the first notice received from the committee and in the first hearing, despite repeatedly asking the committee, I was not given any clarity on whether the present proceedings were in-house proceedings or not. However, the in-house proceedings rules are now being used to deny me and the public a right to the report.”

Referring to the secretary-general’s press note which states that a copy of the report will not be made public because of the SC judgment in the Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India case, she said: “It appears from the press release that even I, the complainant, will not to be provided with a copy of the report.”

She said she had a right to the report, the reasons for the same as well as co-pies of the depositions of any witnesses or any oth-er evidence considered. Besides this, as is being reported by the media, if a copy of the report is being given to the CJI directly or indirectly, she was also entitled to a copy thereof.

She said: “I find it rather strange that the complainant in a case of sexual harassment is not to be provided with a copy of the report which finds her complaint to be without substance.”

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