The Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Today deposed before the three member enquiry panel headed by Justice Bobde which probes the sexual harassment allegations against him, says reports.
This is for the first time in the history of Indian judiciary that Chief Justice appeared before a committee over allegations of sexual harassment.
Though the complainant has decided not to participate in the proceedings citing, the panel has chosen to proceed ex-parte.
Reportedly, the CJI has rebutted the allegations against him.
Yesterday, the former Junior Court Assistant who had made the allegations against the CJI had expressed her refusal to participate in the proceedings any further, stating that she was not sure of getting justice from it.
In this backdrop, the panel, which also comprises Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, decided to proceed ex-parte and at their request the CJI agreed to get himself examined by the panel.
In a letter sent to the panel head Justice Bobde, the woman had said that “she felt intimidated and nervous in the presence of three Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court and without having a lawyer or support person”.
She said that her request for a lawyer or support person was not accepted by the panel. The panel had also not appreciated her request for following the procedure under Vishakha guidelines and POSH Act.
“I felt I was not likely to get justice from this committee and so I am no longer participating in the 3 Judge Committee proceedings”, the complainant said.
It was on April 23 that a panel of Justices Bobde, Ramana and Indira Banerjee was constituted by the CJI to probe the allegations levelled by the former staff.
Later, the woman addressed a letter to Justice Bobde objecting to the inclusion of Justice Ramana in the in-house panel and had claimed that he was a frequent visitor of the residence of the CJI and is a “close friend of the CJI and is like a family member to him”. She had also pointed out that on April 20, the day her affidavit was sent to the Supreme Court judges, Justice Ramana, speaking in Hyderabad, had dismissed her allegations.
This led to the recusal of Justice Ramana, who was replaced by Justice Indu Malhotra.