CJI-led bench holds hearing on sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi
A special bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Arun Mishra, and Sanjiv Khanna has met for a special sitting to discuss a matter of grave public importance.
The bench will be discussing issues related to the independence of the judiciary. The special sitting started at 10:30 am.
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CJI on sexual harassment allegations against him says independence of judiciary is under very very serious threat and there is a larger conspiracy to destabilise the judiciary. He says there is some bigger force behind the woman who made sexual harassment charges. https://t.co/tc05vQcBZK— ANI (@ANI) April 20, 2019
11:18 am: Ranjan Gogoi said, "The responsibility of holding a special sitting is mine. I've taken this unusual and unprecedented step because things have gone too far. The judiciary cannot be targetted."
11:15 am: Solicitor general Tushar Mehta said that the case appears to be a blackmail technique. "Serious action is needed.
11:12 am: "Considering the very, very important cases that are due to be heard next week, they want to destabilize the office of the CJI. Independence of judiciary is under very, very serious threat. This is pathetic. If judges have to work under these conditions, good people are not going to become judges. To have a bank balance of 6 lakhs after 20 years of service. My peon has more money."
11:12 am: He said, "I don't think this can be a dismissed employee of the Supreme Court. This has to be a bigger issue. There are two offices in the country which are completely independent-- the PMO and the office of CJI."
11:09 am: CJI said, "There are two FIRs against her. How did she enter the supreme court service when there were criminal cases pending? I inquired with Delhi Police."
11:05 am: CJI Ranjan Gogoi has alleged that the woman, who alleged that she was sexually harassed by him, said that the woman has a criminal background.
11:04 am: He said, "All I would like to say is this, undoubtedly every employee are treated fairly and decently. This employee was there for a month and a half. Allegations came and I didn't deem it appropriate to reply to the allegations."
11:00 am: CJI Ranjan Gogoi has responded to the allegations of sexual harassment against him by a former employee. He denied the charges, saying that he did not deem it appropriate to reply to the allegations.
10:56 am: In the hearing, CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that he received four communications from four different news portals.
10:55 am: Hearing in the Supreme Court begins
The Supreme Court press release in this regard termed the meeting as "a matter of great public importance". It said that it's in the "chief justice's court to deal with a matter of great public importance touching upon the independence of the judiciary, on a mention being made by Tushar Mehta."
It is unusual for the judiciary to hold a hearing on weekends.