Justice Bobde panel to probe CJI Ranjan Gogoi sexual allegations

New Delhi: In the wake of alleged sexual harassment charges against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, a three-member committee of the top court judges led by Justice S.A. Bobde will probe the allegations by a former staffer. Bobde is the number two judge in the apex court, and the panel was constituted on Tuesday.

According to a source familiar with the formation of the committee, on condition of anonymity, said that Justices N.V. Ramana (the number three judge in the top court) and Indira Banerjee have been handed over the responsibility to look into the allegations. The source added Chief Justice Gogoi has asked Justice Bobde to take lead on the issue.

On April 20, reports were published regarding the alleged sexual harassment of a former Supreme Court staffer by the Chief Justice. In view of the nature of allegations the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court held a detailed discussion on the future course of action on the complaint against Chief Justice Gogoi, the source said.  It was a significant development, as the judges have to save the institution of the judiciary.

On Monday, the Supreme Court lawyers associations sought the constitution of a ‘full court’ to take necessary steps for a fair probe into the matter, and also to protect the basic tenants of natural justice. Last week, a junior court assistant had sent written complaints to 22 judges alleging that the Chief Justice sexually harassed her in October 2018.

On April 20, the Supreme Court called an urgent hearing on a matter of great public importance touching upon the independence of judiciary and constituted a special bench which comprised of the Chief Justice.

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