Mumbai: On Thursday, Mumbaikars staged a protest at Dadar (E) railway station, raising questions on the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee’s decision to give a clean chit to the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, who faced allegations of sexual harassment. This comes days after the three-judge panel found “no substance” in the allegations made by a former employee of the apex court. The protesters expressed support for the complainant, who had accused the CJI of sexually harassing her. Shortly after, she stated she would not appear before the in-house panel set up by the SC to look into her charges as she felt intimidated and feared she was not likely to get justice.
Some of the protesters were lawyers and working professionals of the judiciary who stated that the Supreme Court’s decision is an example of ‘supreme injustice’ and all the members of the legal system must unite against such injustice. The protesters demanded the enquiry report be put in the public domain as they felt the in-house committee did not follow the proper procedure and did not consider the Vishaka Guidelines while examining the matter.
“We stand in solidarity with the complainant and demand that Supreme Court re-examine the matter at the earliest,” said Chayanika Shah, an activist. The protesters demanded protection for the complainant, who they said, was being victimised, and urged the setting up of a proper process in accordance with the principles of justice and law to deal with such complaints.
One of the activists who was present in the SC on the day of the proceedings stated that during the panel’s hearing, the judges told the complainant that it was not a proceeding under the Vishaka Guidelines but an informal proceeding. “There has been no transparency and now that the SC has clearly violated the norms, how can there will be any value left in the system?” lamented Anjali Jadhav, a lawyer and activist.