Sexual harassment allegation against CJI: Victim to move court to seek legal remedies

According to legal experts, she can file a criminal complaint but in this case since the sitting CJI is involved, it would need the President’s nod before anything can be initiated.

Published: 09th May 2019 10:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2019 01:07 PM   |  A+A-

Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against the clean chit to CJI Ranjan Gogoi in a case of sexual harassment | parveen negi

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Days after the in-house panel headed by Justice SA Bobde found no substance in the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, the former Supreme Court employee is all set to approach court seeking legal remedies, including challenging her dismissal from the job.

According to her legal team, all options are being explored before approaching the court, which might happen in next two-three days.

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“She has limited options like seeking compensation for her lost job, the mental trauma she has gone through and human rights violation during her wrongful arrest,” said an advocate who is supporting the complainant but does not want to be identified.

Complainant also has option of approaching the Delhi High Court under Article 226 and seek proper inquiry into the incidents and allegations against CJI Gogoi.

According to legal experts, she can file a criminal complaint but in this case since the sitting CJI is involved, it would need the President’s nod before anything can be initiated. This is because of the previous judgements of the apex court wherein no FIR can be registered against a judge without the prior permission of the Chief Justice.

Similarly, prior permission is also required from the President in case the woman wants to file a proper complaint under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

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The woman had opted out from the informal proceedings of the panel into her allegations after she was denied permission to accompany her lawyer as a support person before the committee. CJI Gogoi also appeared before the committee and is learnt to have defended himself on the charges levelled on him.

The committee was set up after a former junior court assistant alleged that she was harassed at CJI Gogoi’s home, and that she was removed from her job unfairly. The 35-year-old woman also alleged that her husband and his brother were suspended from the Delhi Police as part of a harassment campaign.

For and against 

To express solidarity with CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Supreme Court Registry employees on Wednesday gathered on the premises of the court during the lunch break and rubbished  sexual harassment charges against him. The employees’ union said the allegations of sexual harassment have hurt the image of the apex court. Meanwhile, a day after 60 women activists were detained under the Section 144 of the CrPC from outside the Supreme Court, a bunch of them gathered at Connaught Place to protest the clean chit given to the Chief Justice of India, but were taken into police custody under similar charges. 

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