A former Supreme Court former employee, who has alleged that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Ranjan Gogoi had sexually harassed her at his residence in October 2018, has expressed her disappointment at the clean chit given to him by the three judge in-house panel. In a statement, the woman has said that she was “not just highly disappointed and dejected” but also felt that “gross injustice” had been done to her as a woman of India.
“I am now extremely scared and terrified because the in-house committee, despite having all the material placed before them, has given me no justice or protection and said nothing about the absolutely malafide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family. I and my family members remain vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack,” she said. The clean chit to CJI Gogoi, the woman said in her statement, was her “worst fears” coming true.
The woman said she would consult her lawyer and decide on further course of action. The 35-year old former staffer of the top court had on April 30 said she would not participate in the proceedings of the court's in-house committee probing her allegations.
In a letter, the former employee had said that she had “serious concerns and reservations” about the committee comprising Justices S A Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra as members. “I joined and participated in the committee proceedings in good faith on 26 and 29 April with the hope that this committee would proceed in a manner that is fair to me and sensitive to my circumstances," she said. The woman alleged that she was told at the first hearing on April 26 that the committee was an informal proceeding.
“I was asked to narrate my account which I did to the best of my ability even though I felt quite intimidated and nervous in the presence of three honourable judge of the Supreme Court and without having a lawyer or support person with me,” she said, adding that she had been asked not to share the proceedings with her lawyer Vrinda Grover. The woman has also alleged that she had been followed by motorcycles on both April 26 and April 29, after she came out of the in-house committee hearing.
The former woman staffer had on April 19 sent a detailed affidavit to the residences of 22 judges of the Supreme Court, giving details of the alleged harassment. In her letter, the junior court assistant, who was employed with the Supreme Court from May 1, 2014, to December 21, 2018, alleged that she was harassed at the CJI's home, and that she was removed from her job without giving any reason. She had further alleged that following her termination, both her husband and his brother had been suspended as head constables posted with Delhi Police. She said her own brother, employed with the Supreme Court, was also terminated. This, she had alleged, was a direct consequence of her not agreeing to the advances made by the CJI.