Justice N V Ramana, part of 3-member in-house inquiry panel set up to examine the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, recused himself from hearing the case, PTI reported on Thursday.
The development comes a day after the former apex court woman employee, who levelled the allegations against the CJI, wrote a letter to the panel expressing reservation over the inclusion of Justice Ramana on the ground that he is a close friend of the Gogoi and a regular visitor to his house. The panel which will examine the allegations against the CJI will be headed by Justice SA Bobde.
The woman was supposed to appear before the panel on Friday.In a letter to Justice Bobde, she also raised questions over the presence of only one woman apex court judge — Indira Banerjee — in the panel to examine her allegations against the CJI which is not in accordance with the Vishaka Guidelines.
“I would humbly suggest that since I was posted in the CJI’s residence office, I know that Justice Ramana is a close friend of the CJI and is like a family member to him. Justice Ramana is a frequent visitor to the residence of the CJI.
Because of this I fear that my affidavit and evidence will not receive an objective and fair hearing,” she wrote in the letter, according to PTI.The woman had also asked the panel to allow her to appear before it along with a lawyer and the proceedings of the committee be video recorded so that there can be no dispute about what transpired in the inquiry.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has asked its retired Judge Justice A K Patnaik to conduct an inquiry into a Delhi-based lawyer’s allegations that there was a conspiracy to frame Gogoi on sexual harassment charges.A special bench of Justices Arun Mishra, R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta asked the CBI Director, IB Director and Delhi Police Commissioner to cooperate with Justice Patnaik whenever need be.