‘Worst fears have come true’, says complainant in CJI case
In a statement issued after the panel’s notification was made public, the complainant said “gross injustice” has been done to her “as a woman citizen of India”.Updated: May 07, 2019, 12:00 IST
The former Supreme Court employee who levelled charges of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said on Monday she was “highly disappointed and dejected” by the clean chit given to him by the three-member in-house panel of the Supreme Court, and would decide on the next step after consulting her lawyer.
In a statement issued after the panel’s notification was made public, the complainant said “gross injustice” has been done to her “as a woman citizen of India”. The court’s notification said that the full report did not need to be made public, citing a previous Supreme Court judgment dating back to 2003.
The woman said she was terrified “because the in-house committee, despite having all material placed before them, appears to have given me no justice or protection and said nothing about the absolutely mala fide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family. I and my family remain vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack.”
The complainant had detailed the alleged wrongful dismissals and indignities in a sworn affidavit sent to 22 judges of the apex court on April 19. She said that not only were the services terminated, her husband and brother-in-law were suspended from the Delhi Police. Her third brother-in-law, who has a disability and whose job she had secured with Gogoi’s help, was given a termination letter. “Today, my worst fears have come true, and all hope of justice and redress from the committee have been shattered,” she said in her statement.
The woman participated in the proceedings of the panel but walked out after her third deposition on April 30, saying she had lost faith in it because she was not allowed to be accompanied by her lawyer, and because the proceedings were not being recorded.
The complainant also said that she was not aware if the committee had called other persons, such as the police officer who, she alleged, had taken her to the CJI’s residence to make her apologise. The complainant said she also asked the panel to secure the call record details of the CJI and had submitted two mobile numbers, asking that the committee corroborate her charge that he regularly called and sent her WhatsApp messages. “I will consult my lawyer and decide on the next steps. Today, I am at the verge of losing faith in the capacity of our system to deliver justice to the weak and vulnerable who are pitted against the powerful within the system itself,” she said.
Gogoi has refuted the allegations, saying a ‘bigger force’ wants to deactivate CJI’s office.
In an interview, last week, her lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that the complainant can invoke various remedies under the law. “She can file an FIR with a police station but that will require the permission of the President of India. She can also go to court challenging her dismissal from service...,”Bhushan said.