Indira Jaising questions AG's appearance in hearing
Indira Jaising questions AG's appearance in hearing

New Delhi: Senior advocate Indira Jaising on Saturday questioned why Attorney General K K Venugopal appeared in the Supreme Court during the hearing on the sexual harassment allegation against the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. Jaising, founder of The Leaflet that was among the four portals which reported the allegation against the CJI prompting the extraordinary hearing, suggested that Justice Gogoi should withdraw from hearing any matter related to the government.

In a series of tweets, Jaising, who was additional solicitor general during the UPA-II regime, asked since the “government has so vociferously defended the Chief Justice of India, should he not recuse from hearing any cases relating to the government?” “What have the allegations of sexual harassment by a dismissed woman employee of the SC got to do with the Government of India ? Why should the Attorney General for India appear is such a case?” she tweeted.

She said, “It is not for us to say whether the allegations against the Chief Justice of India are true or false, a competent court will decide, but everyone is entitled to due process.”  The senior lawyer tagged the story carried by newsportal The Leaflet with her tweets. During the extraordinary hearing Saturday in the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said there was a “common thread” in the communications sent to him by four news portals that carried stories on allegation of sexual harassment against him, and suggested a “bigger force” could be behind the controversy to “deactivate” the office of the CJI. One of the news portal, he referred was The Leaflet.

The newsportal has been founded by Jaising and senior advocate Anand Grover under the aegis of their NGO “An Imprint of Lawyers Collective”, according to its website. The CJI, who was part of a hurriedly convened special bench also comprising justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, said the four news portals — Scroll, The Leaflet, Caravan and the Wire — have carried the stories on the allegations.

“There is a common thread in the communications, and the questions I was asked to answer are common,” he said, adding, “they (news portals) gave less than five hours notice to the CJI to respond”.  Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Saturday said that it would hear on April 24, a police plea to cancel the bail of a former woman Supreme Court employee, who has accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual misconduct, in a cheating and criminal intimidation case.

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