CJI sexual-harassment case: Justice DY Chandrachud ‘writes a letter demanding full court’  

Arunima Bajaj  Monday 6th of May 2019 04:53 PM
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Justice DY Chandrachud.

New Delhi: Justice DY Chandrachud, in a letter written on May 2 to the three-judge inquiry panel looking into allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, has demanded a full court to consider the issues raised by him, according to media reports.

A newspaper had also reported that, Justice Chandrachud had also met Justice Bobde on Sunday evening to discuss the contents of his letter, which argues for the inclusion of an external member to make the committee broader.

Later, the Supreme Court denied that there was any such meeting. It issued a statement, which said: “It is unfortunate that a newspaper quoted its news and said that Justice RF Nariman and Justice DV Chandrachud met Justice SA Bobde on 3 May 2019 Friday evening. This is completely wrong. The internal committee, which is discussing the case of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, is discussing this with itself without consulting the judge and any judge.”

In his letter, Justice Chandrachud suggested names of three retired women Supreme Court judges to choose from and said, “They are retired Justices Ruma Pal, Sujata Manohar and Ranjana Desai who are all apolitical and above board.”

The letter also asked the probe panel, comprising Justices Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, to not proceed with the probe in the absence of the women complainant, who recently withdrew from the proceedings.

Justice Chandrachud, in his letter, raised fundamental questions about the probe which were very important for “the reputation of the Supreme Court,” according to media sources. The letter also asks the probe panel to consider the fact that people “repose trust in us” as we are “fair-minded” and “even-handed”.

The letter asks the panel to remedy all the grievances which led the woman complainant to withdraw from the probe on April 30 and that a copy of the complainant’s statement cannot be denied to her by the probe panel.

Media sources also confirmed that the letter was written after informal consultations with more than 17 judges and it was “not an individual’s view” but conveyed the sense of disquiet among judges of the apex court.

Earlier, the woman who made the allegations against CJI Gogoi waked out of the in-house probe saying that she was unlikely to get justice after such a probe.




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