New Delhi: The Supreme Court employee who levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Monday said she was “shattered” after an in-house panel cleared the CJI of all charges.
She said she is “not only highly disappointed and dejected to learn that the In-House Committee has found no substance in her complaint but feels grave injustice has been done to her a woman citizen of India”.
“I am now extremely scared and terrified because the In-House Committee despite having all material placed before them, has given no justice of protection and said absolutely nothing about the malafide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family,” the 35-year-old woman said in her statement to the media.
Her statement came hours after the CJI was cleared of sexual harassment allegations by the SC panel comprising Justices S.A. Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra. The report, which was submitted Sunday, said the panel found “no substance” in the charges.
“Today my worst fears have come true and all hope of justice and redress from the highest court of the land have been shattered,” the statement said.
The woman said she will consult her lawyer and decide the next course of action and that, as of now, “she is on the verge of losing faith in the idea of justice”.
The woman further said that she now feared continuing reprisals and attacks against her family.
Senior SC lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who the woman had consulted before filing her affidavit, told ThePrint, “We will challenge the order of her dismissal or removal from her job.”
The woman made her complaint through a letter to 22 SC judges on 19 April as well as an affidavit in which she provided a detailed account of how she was allegedly mistreated, removed from service and later victimised and harassed by CJI Gogoi.
She was a junior court employee who was posted at Gogoi’s residence. The incidents, she alleged, took place in October 2018.
The woman appeared before the in-house panel thrice before walking out of the procedure last week, claiming she was “nervous” and fearing that she was not going to get a fair hearing. She said the atmosphere of the inquiry was “very frightening”.
“…I was very nervous because of being confronted and questioned by three Supreme Court Judges and without even the presence of my lawyer/support person,” she had said in a press release last week.
The woman, in her statement Monday, said that she was already condemned by the CJI and his senior colleague in an extraordinary suo moto “hearing” which took place on the 20 April, where accusations were made upon her character in her absence.
She said she had learnt from the media that the CJI was “perhaps called by the committee for his version”.
“However, I am not aware any of the other persons named in my complaint who would have knowledge of matters mentioned in the complaint, especially victimisation, were called by the committee for their evidence. I do not even know whether the SHO who took me to the CJIs residence to make me apologise to the CJI’s wife in a humiliating manner, was called by the committee even though I had submitted a video recording of my interaction with him on that day,” she added in her statement.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.