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  India   All India  01 May 2019  Woman accuser walks out of SC inquiry hearing

Woman accuser walks out of SC inquiry hearing

AGENCIES
Published : May 1, 2019, 1:52 am IST
Updated : May 1, 2019, 1:52 am IST

She also said there was no audio or video recording of the proceedings as she requested and she was not given a copy of her statement.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi  (Photo: PTI)
 Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The woman who has accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment said on Tuesday that she was boycotting the “in-house proceedings” due to “serious concerns and reservations” and apprehension that she is not likely to get justice.

In a detailed statement to the media, the former employee of Supreme Court said that Tuesday was the third day she had gone to depose before the three-member panel headed by Justice S.A. Bobde, “But due to serious concerns and reservations, I am no longer participating in these in-house committee proceedings. I felt I was not likely to get justice from this committee and so I am no longer participating in the three-judge committee proceedings”.

 

The woman said she started participating in the proceedings even though it was an “in-house committee of Woman accuser walks out of SC inquiry hearing sitting judges junior to the CJI and not an external committee as I had requested”.

But she alleged that the “atmosphere of the committee was very frightening and I was very nervous because of being confronted and questioned by three Supreme Court judges, without the presence of my lawyer/support person”.

She also said there was no audio or video recording of the proceedings as she requested and she was not given a copy of her statement.

She also mentioned that the witnesses of her case were staff of the court and there is no likelihood of them being able to depose fearlessly before the committee. She also expressed dissatisfaction about the committee not addressing her demand to follow the procedure under the Vishakha guidelines and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Against Women at the Workplace Act 2013.

 

The decision for in-house, private hearing by a three-member panel was taken last week by the Supreme Court. The three-member panel initially named was also tweaked after the complainant’s objections.

Justice N.V. Ramana, who was initially named, had withdrawn from the panel after the woman complained that he was a family friend of the Chief Justice and a second woman judge was named.

The panel now comprises Justices S.A. Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.

The complainant had made allegations of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice in an affidavit sent to all Supreme Court judges last week.

Chief Justice Gogoi has denied the allegations, saying he is being targeted as he is slated to hear several important cases.

 

Alleging a conspiracy, he said, “There has to be bigger force behind this, they want to deactivate office of Chief Justice”. The independence of the judiciary is “under threat” and it was being made a “scapegoat,” he has said.

Tags: ranjan gogoi, sexual harassment