Bar Council Condemns Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CJI

Ranjan Gogoi CJI

Justice Ranjan Gogoi takes oath as the Chief Justice of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan

"This is unbelievable. I should not stoop low even in denying it".

Indian Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the accusations made by a 35-year-old junior court assistant were an attempt to stop him hearing important cases. "Judiciary can not be made a scapegoat.There is some bigger force behind the woman, with criminal track record".

Gogoi said the events showed that India's judiciary was under "serious threat" and was being destabilised by a larger conspiracy, without elaborating.

The allegations brought about by the former court employee has been denied by the secretary general's office which said that "there was never any occasion for the CJI to interact with her".

The special bench refrained from passing any judicial order "at this stage" and said they "leave it to the discretion of the media to exercise restraint and act responsibly".

"What troubles me is that after 20 years of service, I have a bank balance of Rs 6 lakh and Rs 40 lakh in PF".

CJI Gogoi said, "Last evening I received 4 communications from Wire, Leaflet, Caravan and Scroll, saying a letter is circulated by a dismissed SC employee alleging that CJI has sought sexual favours".

Ranjan Gogoi, a Supreme Court judge, gestures as he addresses the media at a news conference in New Delhi, India January 12, 2018. "I have communicated with four media houses, which have published stories against me", he added. "Why would any sane person want to become a judge?"

"He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine, and did not let go", she wrote in the affidavit seen by AFP. "I will sit on this Bench and discharge my duties without fear or favor".

The registry came out with the notice that the special bench has been constituted to deal with the "matter of great public importance" touching upon the independence of judiciary.

She was later also made to prostrate before Justice Gogoi's wife and made to rub her nose at her feet in the chief justice's residence, she alleged, adding that her disabled brother-in-law was removed from service at the Supreme Court.

The woman, a married mother of one, has called on the Supreme Court to set up a "special inquiry committee" to look into her accusations. By the end of that year, her husband and his brother, both of whom worked with the Delhi Police, were also suspended from their respective jobs. He said he did not "deem it appropriate" to reply to the allegations and that the employee had only been at the court for one-and-a-half months.

After she pushed him away and left the room, confused, he called her back in a few minutes later, and told her she cannot share this with anyone, and made her write a note that suggested it was her that asked if she could hold him.

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