Representative image |
Representational image | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint file
Text Size:

New Delhi: Over 300 lawyers, scholars and members of the civil society have written an open letter to the Supreme Court judges, expressing solidarity with the complainant who has levelled sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The letter comes a day after CJI Gogoi appeared before a three-judge panel, led by Justice S.A. Bobde, to look into the accusations. A day before that, the complainant refused to participate in the in-house committee proceedings to look into the charges, saying the atmosphere was “frightening”.

The in-house committee Wednesday took the decision to continue the proceedings without her participation, following which a notice was sent to the CJI. Gogoi responded to it.

The letter, signed by 333 persons, submitted Thursday that the inquiry panel deligitimised itself when it decided to continue the proceedings after her refusal to participate in the probe.

“If the committee continues to proceed with the enquiry (sic) instead of satisfactorily concluding the matter it will raise many more questions,” it read.

In a show of support to the former apex court staffer who complained against the top judge, the letter said the reasons given in her statement “justify her decision to abstain, especially in the context of total imbalance of power vis-a-vis her on one side and the members of highest judiciary on the other”.

“We reiterate that the constitution of the three-judge committee is inherently flawed, as the Chief Justice is senior to the three judges hearing the complaint and head of the institution.”

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

The 35-year-old woman pulled out of the proceedings Tuesday, claiming the atmosphere of the three-judge committee was “frightening”, and her lawyer was not allowed to attend.


Also read: Another lawyer claims conspiracy against CJI Gogoi, says SC advocates trying to defame him


‘Credible individuals’

The signatories called upon the judges to take “corrective steps” and “put a halt to these proceedings”. If the SC judges fail to do so, “not only the complainant, but also the citizens of this country, especially women and marginalised sections, will lose faith in the judicial system”, it said.

The signatories suggested that a special inquiry panel be formed comprising “credible individuals” to conduct a thorough inquiry at the earliest. This must also include an “atmosphere of transparency and confidence for the complainant to depose”.

The Chief Justice of India should refrain from transacting official duties and responsibilities until the completion of the inquiry. Further, the complainant must be allowed to be represented by a lawyer/support person of her choice, added the letter.


Also read: Twist in CJI Gogoi story: Police wanted woman jailed despite Haryana man ‘not fearing her’


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only 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 we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

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 our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. If this enquiry is to be stopped, what is the alternative? It is true that this committee has no constitutional sanctity, inasmuch as the judiciary cannot adjudicate itself. This power is vested with the Parliament in terms of Article 124 and Judges Enquiry Act, 1968. Still this committee was formed to satisfy the public opinion. However, it is a moot point how far the judiciary should cave in to meet the demands of the complanant. It seems that nothing short of conviction will satisfy her, no matter the what is the conclusion of the committee. Under such circumstances, the lady may be left to choose other options: (1) Request Parliamentarians to initiate impeachment process or (2) wait for the CJ to retire.

  2. These are the same from Ghar Wapsi gang, once again raising their ugliest head. They are scared of the present Govt. that has political will. They failed with Modi, now they are keeping the guns on the shoulder of the CJI with the same objective. These parasites are fearing their fate. They must disturb the nation’s atmosphere, hook or crook.

  3. This is a personal charge against the CJI. Judiciary is a perpetual entity. People will come and people will go. CJI is one of them. The honourable Supreme Court didn’t live up to the expectations of the people by giving a wrong impression that the CJI and judiciary are inseparable. The alleged larger crime to destabilise the judiciary is totally different issue and this allegation on the CJI is totally different.

  4. “The Chief Justice of India should refrain from transacting official duties and responsibilities until the completion of the inquiry.” What’s going on? SC must act and stop its politicization by vested interests. If law permits, these 333 activists must be taken to task for interfering in SC.

  5. This is uncharted territory for the apex court. It requires the collective wisdom of 22 judges to determine the way forward. In the normal course, the Committee could conclude the proceedings and, based on the material before it, give a finding that the complaint is false, no further action is warranted. We have the highest respect for the Justices, would have no reason to question the merit of their findings and conclusions. However, that may not bring satisfactory closure. If hundreds of eminent citizens are voicing their disquiet, deeper thought is required.

  6. Why don’t you publish the names of those who signed the letter? We will then make up our minds on the motives and legitimacy of the letter. If it is the usual tukde tukde gang that signed it, then we know that the letter is not even worth the paper it was written on.

    • RJ, you are shy to even reveal your full name, but here is the 334th, yours truly. I too would sign it if someone showed me where to sign.

      My logic is simple:

      1) take the 3 March FIR against this woman into consideration, according to which this woman CONNED a man of 50000 rupees, and also THREATENED him that she will implicate him in a FALSE CASE if he persisted about his money. These three coordinates, mentioned in bold above, define this woman for me.

      2) she showed her complaint to TWENTY TWO judges of the Supreme Court, and none of them helped her. Not one or two, but 22. All of them, very senior people, whose life is spent in disbursing justice. Did they all belong to tukde tukde gang?

      3) she cribbed about the panel of judges when the hearing of her complaint began. On her demand, 2 out of 3 judges were ladies. She couldn’t answer their questions, and said they were intimidating him. Read my point 1) above. Is a person who is aggressive and fraudulent enough to intimidate others likely to get intimidated herself, unless she is not caught telling a lie?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here