The Supreme Court on Wednesday has reinstated the woman employee who made allegations against the former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, of sexually harassing her.
In April 2019, the woman staffer alleged that in October 2018, while she was posted as a Junior Court Assistant at the former CJI Gogoi’s residence office, she alleged Gogoi of sexually harassing her. Later, the woman was terminated from her services after multiple transfers, on grounds that she had overstepped in questioning her transfers and also took leave without authorization. She also alleged that her husband and brother-in-law, who were posted with Delhi Police, were also suspended following her termination. However, they were reinstated to service in June 2019. She went on alleging that a false bribery case was foisted on her since she resisted the sexual advances of Gogoi.
An In-House panel which initially comprised of Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana and Justice Indira Banerjee was constituted to deal with this case. However, Justice Ramana was replaced by Justice Indu Malhotra after a complaint was raised by the woman regarding the close relationship of Justice Ramana with CJI Gogoi. The committee in its report found no substance in her charges and gave a clean chit to the former CJI.
“The In-House Committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the Complaint dated 19.4.2019 of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India” stated the Secretary-General of SC in the notice dated 6 May 2019. The Secretary-General further denied the sexual harassment charges against Gogoi stating them as absolutely false and scurrilous.
However, the woman staffer withdrew from the proceedings on the third day on apprehensions stating that the inquiry was not being conducted fairly and that she was not being allowed to be accompanied by a lawyer or a support person.
As per sources, the woman staffer had joined duty and proceeded on leave as all her arrears have been cleared.