Justice Bobde to hold in-house inquiry

Kashmir Times. Dated: 4/24/2019 11:19:57 AM

Sexual harassment charges against CJI

NEW DELHI, Apr 23 (Agencies): Justice SA Bobde, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was on Tuesday appointed to conduct an in-house inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the CJI.
When contacted, Justice Bobde confirmed the development. He said being the number two judge, the CJI India has appointed him to look into the allegations of sexual harassment charges levelled against him by a former woman staff.
Justice Bobde said he has decided to form a panel by inducting two apex court judges — Justice NV Ramana and Justice Indira Banerjee.
“I decided to have Justice Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Banerjee as she is a woman judge,” he added.
Describing the allegations against him as “unbelievable,” CJI Gogoi had convened an extraordinary hearing at the Supreme Court on April 20 and said that a larger conspiracy was behind it and he would not stoop so low as to even deny the charges.
The apex court, which held the hearing for around 30 minutes, said independence of judiciary was under “very serious threat” and “unscrupulous allegations” of sexual harassment have been levelled against the CJI as some “bigger force” wanted to “deactivate” the office of the CJI.
Besides the CJI, the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, hinted towards a “bigger force” behind the controversy which has the potential to shake the faith of the public in the judicial system.
Gogoi's presence on the bench, however, was criticised. Former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde on Tuesday said the CJI hearing a case involving sexual harassment allegations against him was “wholly wrong both in law and morality.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association (SCAORA) had also expressed “its deep reservation against procedural impropriety” shown by CJI Gogoi.



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