Justice Bobde to head in-house panel on sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi

While Chief Justice Gogoi went by seniority in appointing Justice Bobde to lead the panel, it was the latter who took the call on the other two members - justices N V Ramana and Indira Banerjee.

Published: 24th April 2019 03:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2019 08:24 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi

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

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Days after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, a three-member in-house committee headed by Justice S A Bobde, the second in seniority in the Supreme Court, was constituted on Tuesday.

While Chief Justice Gogoi went by seniority in appointing Justice Bobde to lead the panel, it was the latter who took the call on the other two members - justices N V Ramana and Indira Banerjee.

“I decided to have Justice Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Banerjee as she is a woman judge,” Justice Bobde said. 

The committee was formed based on an allegation by a sacked woman staffer at the CJI’s residence. She had sent sworn affidavits describing the nature of the harassment to all 22 judges of the Supreme Court.

After forming the internal inquiry panel, Justice Bobde issued a notice to the complainant. The first hearing is slated for Friday. The Supreme Court secretary general, too, has been asked to furnish documents.

It was not clear at the time of going to Press if the panel was the SC’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) that is mandated under the Vishakha guidelines. For, ICC proceedings ought to be wrapped up within three months, but Justice Bobde said there was no timeframe to complete the probe.

Also, no advocate will be allowed to represent the complainant and the respondent and the proceedings will be confidential. 

A bench headed by the CJI on Saturday had first taken up the case, but the procedure followed by Justice Gogoi was faulted by a section of jurists on grounds of propriety.

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