CJI Ranjan Gogoi appears before probe panel in sexual harassment case

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday appeared before an in-house inquiry committee looking into allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former woman employee of the Supreme Court. This is for the first time in the history of Indian judiciary that a CJI has appeared before a committee over allegations of sexual harassment.

“A letter of request was issued to the Chief Justice asking him to meet the committee and he responded to it,” the source told this correspondent. The in-house inquiry committee is headed by Justice S A Bobde, who is the senior-most judge in the Supreme Court after the CJI, and its two other members are women judges of the apex court — justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.

The panel decided to go ahead with the inquiry even though the woman complainant has walked out lamenting that she will not get justice. The source said the woman opted not to participate in the proceedings despite being told about the consequence — that the committee can go ahead with its task ex parte.

She had appeared before the panel for three days. The woman in a press statement on Tuesday described as “very frightening” the atmosphere in the in-house inquiry committee and said she was also “scared for her safety” as she was followed by two to four men while returning from the proceedings.

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