A woman activist protests against the clean chit given to CJI Gogoi outside the Supreme Court | ANI
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New Delhi: The woman who accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexually harassing her is expected to challenge her dismissal before the Supreme Court or the Delhi High Court in the next two days.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is part of the 35-year-old’s legal team, said she has also decided to seek compensation for the loss of her job, the alleged mental trauma and physical injuries suffered, as well as the “human rights violations” inflicted on her through “wrongful arrest, incarceration, and cuffing”.

The move comes days after CJI Gogoi was given a clean chit in the matter by a three-judge Supreme Court panel comprising S.A. Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra, who said they had found “no substance” in the woman’s allegations.

The woman, who had walked out of the in-house hearing after three appearances claiming she was “very frightened”, had said she was “shattered and dejected” by the panel’s decision. On Tuesday, she had demanded a copy of the report, which has not been made public.

According to the woman, she was posted at CJI Gogoi’s home office when he allegedly sexually harassed her in October last year. She claimed in a letter to 22 Supreme Court judges last month that Gogoi dismissed her and got her husband and brother-in-law fired from Delhi Police after she rejected his advances.


Also read: Our lawyers prevented a suicide: Husband recounts what complainant in CJI Gogoi case faced


Other legal options

The woman has limited legal options to take the matter further as the CJI has been cleared of sexual harassment charges by the in-house panel.

She could file a criminal complaint, but would require the President’s permission.

“According to the Veeraswamy judgment, the SC laid down that no FIR, regarding any offence, can be registered against a judge without the prior permission of the chief justice,” said Bhushan.

“As for the Chief Justice of India, the permission would have to be taken from the President after consulting other such judges as maybe deemed fit,” Bhushan added.

Permission from the President would also be required if a complaint is filed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

However, the lawyer added that this course is unlikely to fructify, citing the failed motion for former CJI Dipak Misra’s impeachment that was moved by the opposition last year.

Another option the woman has is to challenge the criminal case filed against her by Jhajjar resident Naveen Kumar, who has accused her of conning him of money on the promise of a job in the Supreme Court.

The woman’s allegations of sexual harassment have propelled the top court into an unprecedented crisis, with an advocate subsequently claiming that the charges stemmed from a bid by “judgment fixers” to unseat the CJI.


Also readLawyers, activists protest outside SC over clean chit to CJI Gogoi, demand his resignation


 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. The Constitution is based on equality. Judges are protected from bona fide errors/ acts – not mala fide errors / acts. There is no provision in the Constitution for the protection of mala fide errors / acts by judges, as it would contravene the Constitutionally fundamental principle of equality. If anything, the illegal act of a court of law is more guilty of the crime – the liability being the penal provision for the act per se, compounded by criminal breach of trust. Aequum et bonum, est lex legum. What is good and equal, is the law of laws.

    Sans any investigation, the statements made by the various SC justices / SC office bearers / AORs / Bar Council / politicians etc., deriding the Complainant, has already interfered with the administration of justice / prejudiced the Complainant, and are liable under IPC Sec 191 at the least.

    Some more factoids based on the principle of natural justice are:

    1. Ignorantia legis neminem excusat. Ignorance of fact may excuse, but not ignorance of law.
    The CJI knows the law but has abused his office powers by forming a bench headed by himself and interfered with the administration of justice.

    2. Actio exteriora indicant interiora secreta. External actions show the secret intentions.
    The intention of CJI forming a bench headed by himself to judge a case against himself is apparent. Termination of the jobs of Complainants’ husband and brother in law are coercion and cannot be coincidental. Also, as Mr. Arun Shourie has indicated, the judges have behaved like a club – consenting parties – except for Justice Chandrachud.
    “Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.” ― Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    3. Agentes et consentientes, pari pœna plectentur – Parties both acting and consenting, are liable to the same punishment.
    All the entities – bar association, AORs, Arun Jaitley etc. along with the CJI – have released statements accusing the Complainant subjudice. All have falsely verified the Complainant and the constitution, and are at the least subject to Sec 191.

    4. Animus ad se omne jus ducit. It is to the intention that all law applies.
    “Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.” ― Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    5. Fiat justitia ruat caelum. Let justice be done, though the heavens should fall.

    6. “It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, …..But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”
    ― John Adams

    7. “An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    8. Sealed envelopes submissions will only further undermine the faith in the judiciary. If the Hon’ble CJI is clear that he has not done any wrong, he should invite the media to a nationwide live broadcast of the proceedings. I am sure that all the streets will be empty during the broadcast, as was the case with the serial Satyameva Jayate.

    9. The judiciary employees are public servants, paid by taxpayers money. Is the taxpayer happy paying the judges salaries, pensions etc.? The taxpayer is the paymaster and the best judge of the judges / judicial employees.

    With the exception of Justice Chandrachud, I do not feel the taxpayer will approve the judges salary. Let the top 100 taxpayers decide whether to give the judges their salaries / pensions, or even claw-back provision.

    Two avenues are;

    1. All arguments are should be in written notes only / by e-mails – no in person appearances.

    2. Refer the matter to a military court.

  2. The Wire carries a detailed interview with the lady complainant, which I did not have the heart to read in full. From the concluding portion, learnt that she is from a socially less privileged background. When each of the 22 Justices read her affidavit, they must have understood in the deepest recesses of their intellect that there was pain and human suffering. Justice A P Shah told Shri Karan Thapar that this case will haunt the apex court for a long time. He considered the entire set of proceedings to be a travesty, a complete miscarriage of justice. One individual will answer to his conscience. His wife told her imperiously, when she was presented before her, “ to apologise “, Naak ragad kar jaao.

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