Hyderabad: The National Commission for Women (NCW), which swiftly issues notices to the accused in any sexual harassment case or those accused of sexist remarks, was strangely silent over the sexual harassment allegations levelled against Chief Justice of India Rajan Gogoi.
In the normal course, the NCW takes up matters suo motu and issues notices.
“Once any case goes to the court, the NCW cannot interfere or talk about it. In the case of the Chief Justice of India, the petitioner (victim) has directly petitioned all judges of the court, which means that the matter is already in court. Therefore, the NCW cannot intervene,” said Ms Tripuraneni Venkatarat-nam, adviser to the NCW and former chairperson of Telangana state Commission for Women.
Asked about the NCW practice of taking up cases suo motu, she said: “Everybody is different than the Chief Justice of India. Though the fact remains that all are equal before the law, this (Gogoi’s case) is very peculiar,” she said.
Ms Venkataratnam pointed out that the petitioner had not sent a petition to the National Commission for Women.
Ms Venkataratnam, who is also a lawyer, said that the CJI had set a “very bad precedent” by being part of the bench that heard the matter related to allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him.
“It was a mistake on the part of the CJI. What message is he sending by doing this? Now, everywhere people accused of sexual harassment will say that if the CJI can do it (sit in own judgment), then why not them,” Ms Venkataratnam said.
“The Supreme Court guidelines (on sexual harassment cases) are clear. Whoever is accused of sexual harassment, an inquiry has to be done. What Justice Ranjan Gogoi did (by sitting on a bench that was considering the case against him) was wrong,” Ms Venkataratnam added....