NEW DELHI: Even as TERI is under a cloud after fresh sexual harassment charges were levelled against its former chief R K Pachauri, now elevated to an executive role, Vice-President Hamid Ansari as Rajya Sabha chairman appointed Supreme Court Judge Ranjan Gogoi to probe allegations of sexual misconduct against Madhya Pradesh High Court judge S K Gangele.
Justice Gogoi replaces Justice Vikramjit Sen, who retired from the Supreme Court. The appointment took place after panel member advocate K K Venugopal said a sitting SC judge had to fill the position.
Given that there was no agreement over whether a SC judge could continue after retirement on a panel looking into a case that may lead to impeachment of an HC judge, Ansari made the appointment. This despite Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi having given the opinion that the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968 was silent on the matter. Ansari’s decision was in line with the view taken by the Ministry of Law, which diferred with the A-G.
The probe panel was set up after at least 50 MPs cutting across party lines petitioned the Rajya Sabha Chairman to initiate impeachment proceedings against the judge accused of sexual harassment.