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Sexual harassment charges against CJI: Three-judge panel to look into allegations

"I decided to have Justice NV Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Indira Banerjee as she is a woman judge," PTI quoted Justice Bobde as saying.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 23, 2019 10:27:14 pm
Sexual harassment complaint: As criticism grows, CJI asks Justice Bobde to decide on next steps Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi with Justice S A Bobde. (File Photo)

Justice SA Bobde, the second-most senior judge, on Tuesday, formed a panel to look into allegations of sexual harassment charges levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi by a former employee.

The development comes a day after CJI Gogoi asked Justice Bobde to decide on the next steps in the matter.

“I decided to have Justice NV Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Indira Banerjee as she is a woman judge,” PTI quoted Justice Bobde as saying.

On Saturday, the CJI had convened an “extraordinary” sitting after reports about a former woman staffer’s sexual harassment complaint against him. The allegations by the woman, who had worked at Justice Gogoi’s home office in Delhi, date to October last year.

She alleged that after she resisted his “sexual advances,” she was fired and her husband and brother-in-law, both posted with the Delhi Police as head constables, were subsequently suspended.

Sitting with Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, CJI Gogoi called the charges a bid by a “bigger force.to undermine the independence of the judiciary and deactivate the office of the CJI”. He added: “I should not stoop low even in denying it.”

“There has to be a bigger, bigger force behind this. There are two offices — one of the Prime Minister and one of the CJI. They (people behind this controversy) want to deactivate the office of the CJI,” Justice Gogoi said at the special sitting, before asking, “Is this the reward a CJI gets after 20 years of service?”

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