On allegations against Chief Justice, woman appears before in-house panel

+100%-

NEW DELHI, April 30: A former Supreme Court employee, who levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, appeared before the in-house inquiry panel and recorded her statement on Monday.
She appeared before the three-member panel headed by Justice S A Bobde for the second time. The first proceeding by the panel was held on April 26.
The panel also including two women judges — Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee — is conducting in-camera proceedings.
During the hearing, only the woman was present, a top court source said.
The complainant is not permitted to accompany her lawyer.
The next hearing will take place on Tuesday.
The source also said that the proceedings went on for around three hours during which the woman recorded her statement.
The in-house inquiry proceeding into the sexual harassment allegations is distinct from the probe to be carried out by the court-appointed Justice (retd) A K Patnaik panel which would inquire into the claims of an advocate about a larger conspiracy to frame the Chief Justice and fixing of benches.
On April 23, Justice Bobde had told PTI that the in-house procedure did not contemplate representation of advocates on behalf of parties as it was not a formal judicial proceedings.
“This is going to be an in-house procedure which does not contemplate representation of advocate on behalf of parties. It is not a formal judicial proceeding,” he said.
He had clarified that there was no time-frame to complete the inquiry and the future course of action will depend on “what comes out of the inquiry” which will be “confidential”.
Justice Indu Malhotra was on April 25 appointed a new member of the committee after Justice N V Ramana recused himself.
The woman’s allegations against the Chief Justice were brought into the public domain by some news web portals on April 20.
She had worked at Justice Gogoi’s home office in Delhi and the allegations were carried by the news portals based on her affidavit which was sent to 22 judges of the top court.
In her affidavit, the woman described two incidents of alleged harassment, days after Ranjan Gogoi was appointed Chief Justice of India last October and her subsequent persecution.
The woman alleged that she was removed from service after she rebuffed his “sexual advances”. She claimed that her husband and brother-in-law, both of whom were head constables of Delhi Police, were suspended for a 2012 criminal case that had been mutually resolved. (PTI)