New Delhi: A group of lawyers and activists, mostly women, protested outside the Supreme Court Tuesday, questioning the clean chit given to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case a day before, and demanded his resignation.
Police detained 55 protesters and also a few journalists, who were covering the agitation, and took them to Mandir Marg police station as it is not allowed to stage any kind of demonstration outside the Supreme Court. Some of the protesters raised ‘azadi‘ slogans at the police station.
All the journalists and the protesters have now been released.
Security in and around the Supreme Court has been tightened to prevent any further protests.
‘Fair hearing not given to complainant’
Historian Uma Chakraborty, who has been actively involved in framing a sexual harassment policy in Delhi University, said it was outrageous that the country’s top court was not following the due process.
“On top of it, they’ve decided to let it be a confidential report. It is outrageous,” she said.
Esther, who goes by one name and works with a Delhi-based NGO, said: “If the people who have turned up today isn’t testimony to what’s happening, I don’t know what is?”
She added that the #MeToo movement has reached the highest court.
While the protests saw participation of very few men, a professor from Ashoka University, requesting anonymity, said he was disappointed that a fair hearing was not given to the woman complainant.
Accompanying him, Vikas from Tamil Nadu, who works in Delhi, said, “It is ironical that the CJI, who was among the four judges who had held a press conference last year, hasn’t followed the due process. The hypocrisy is glaring.”
Protest spilled over to Twitter
While the number of protesters outside the Supreme Court was less, several women took to Twitter to voice their anger. Some protesters posted pictures of the demonstration with the hashtag #SupremeInjustice.
Several protests were being organised in other parts of the country as well to express solidarity with the woman complainant, who, according to several women’s groups, did not get a fair hearing in the matter.
The complainant Monday said she was “shattered” after an in-house panel cleared the CJI of all charges. Last week, the complainant had refused to participate in the inquiry after she found “the atmosphere of the committee very frightening”.