Independence of judiciary under threat, says CJI Ranjan Gogoi after woman accuses him of sexual harassment

There was a larger conspiracy to destabilise the judiciary which has remained independent, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

Published: 20th April 2019 11:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2019 03:11 PM   |  A+A-

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi (File Photo | EPS)

By Online Desk

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court held an extraordinary hearing on Saturday after a former employee of the apex court accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment and persecution.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Gogoi was constituted after a sworn affidavit by the woman copies of which were sent to the residences of 22 apex court judges became public on Saturday.

During the hearing in CJI's court No 1, an unfazed Justice Gogoi said the allegations are unbelievable.

"This is unbelievable. I don't think I should stoop low even to deny these allegation," he said, adding, "There has to be bigger force behind this, they want to deactivate the office of CJI." 

ALSO READ: CJI Ranjan Gogoi sexual harassment charge: Here's what the alleged victim wrote in her letter

The apex court registry in a notice earlier in the day said a three-bench headed by the CJI was being set up to deal with a "matter of great public importance touching upon the independence of judiciary". The bench also comprised justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna 

The former employee has described two incidents of alleged molestation by Gogoi in her affidavit, both of which allegedly took place in October 2018, only days after he was appointed as the CJI.

The woman also said that she and three other members of her family were dismissed or suspended from their jobs following the alleged harassment.

Confirming that a letter by the woman has been received by several sitting judges. Supreme Court Secretary General Sanjeev Sudhakar Kalgaonkar said all the allegations made by the woman concerned are malafide and have no basis.

"No doubt, it is a malafide allegation," CJI Gogoi said.

Stating that it was leaving it to the wisdom of media to act responsibly on allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI, the court said the independence of judiciary is under "very, very severe" threat.

"After 20 years of selfless service as judge, I have bank balance of Rs 6.80 lakh," he said.

"Nobody can catch me on money, people have to find something and they have found this: This is the reward CJI gets after 20 years of service," Justice Gogoi.

He made it clear that he will preside over the CJI court and discharge his judicial functions without any fear. "I have taken this unusual and extraordinary step of sitting in court today because things have gone too far," the CJI said, adding, judiciary can't be made a scapegoat.

(With PTI inputs)

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Comments(7)

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  • Indian

    The Notice for the Hearing The Bench comprised three judges of the Supreme Court including the respondent himself: 1.Why was the respondent himself sitting in judgment over his own case? That no man shall be a judge in his own cause is one of the most sacrosanct principles of natural justice that the court routinely preaches and enforces in the hundreds of cases it adjudicates every day. The Chief Justice as master of the roster has the sole authority to constitute the Bench. Did he not think it fit to exclude himself from its composition. 2. Why were no women justices on this Special Bench? Justice Indu Malhotra is the Chairperson of the Internal Complaints Committee of the Supreme Court and was not included in this Special Bench. None of the other women justices of the Supreme Court were included either. Given that the POSH Act is crystal clear that the committee inquiring into sexual harassment must be headed by a woman and must comprise of a majority of women
    2 months ago reply
  • R N Halder

    Another judge was also maligned with such allegation- it seems that this is political tactis to soften a judges stand !
    2 months ago reply
  • Anshu

    How CJI can decide his own case? Whether similar treatment is available for common citizen
    2 months ago reply
  • Nandkumar pd. Singh

    Charge levelled by the lady has to be investigated impartially. Sexual harassment of a woman employee of Supreme Court by CJI is shameful. Allegation on investigation if found malicious or true has to be fairly decided. It is abnormal for both sides.The charge mentions retaliation when she resisted sexual advances
    2 months ago reply
  • Bimal Bhattacharya

    Justice Gogoi sitting in judgement on a complaint against himself!
    2 months ago reply
  • Joy

    When their personal corruption is exposed they start the same song of under threat again
    2 months ago reply
    • Udayakumar

      RSS game plan
      2 months ago reply
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