‘Clean chit nahin chalega’: Students, activists protest SC panel’s decision in sexual harassment case against CJIhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/sc-cji-clean-chit-ranjan-gogoi-sexual-harassment-mumbai-students-activists-protest-5720122/

‘Clean chit nahin chalega’: Students, activists protest SC panel’s decision in sexual harassment case against CJI

Shouting slogans such as ‘Clean chit nahin chalega’, around 50 women gathered outside the station at around 6.30 pm, holding placards and demanding that the Vishakha Guidelines, a set of procedural guidelines used in cases of sexual harassment, should be followed.

Residents gather to protest the clean chit to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case. Amit Chakravarty

Women in the city on Thursday staged a protest outside Dadar railway station, demanding a “fair and independent probe” into the sexual harassment complaint made by a former Supreme Court employee against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.

Shouting slogans such as ‘Clean chit nahin chalega’, around 50 women gathered outside the station at around 6.30 pm, holding placards and demanding that the Vishakha Guidelines, a set of procedural guidelines used in cases of sexual harassment, should be followed.

The protest comes in the light of the in-house panel headed by Justice S A Bobde giving a clean chit to the CJI in an ex-parte report which will not be made public.

Hasina Khan and Chayanika Shah from the Forum Against Operation of Women, lawyers Veena Gowda and Lara Jesani, documentary film-maker Smriti Nevatia, students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and a few women from NGOs such as Awaaz-E-Niswaan and CORO India were among the protesters. One of the organisers, Shah, said they have a WhatsApp group in which they decided to protest in solidarity with the complainant in the case.

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“There is absolute injustice to the survivor in this case. The panel has not followed the due process of law. If the highest authority like the Supreme Court is not following the due process, how can they expect others to follow it? Law of the land has failed today and its implementers have also failed,” said Shah.

“We want them to take this report back and decide it again by following due process of law. Today, we have gathered to pour our anger out. We don’t know where this will go, but a message had to be sent,” she added.

Some of the women distributed pamphlets to passersby, which read, “We stand in solidarity with the complainant. We vehemently reject this conclusion as it has been arrived at without a fair and independent enquiry. The procedure followed in this case not only stands in utter violation of the basic principle of natural justice but also in contravention with both, the letter and spirit of the Sexual Harassment of women at workplace Act 2013, that seek to mitigate the imbalance of power at the workplace.”

Police personnel were deployed to ensure that law and order was maintained, and commuters were given enough space to access the station and platform.