Judiciary being made a scapegoat says CJI on sexual misconduct charges

Vikas SV

New Delhi, Apr 20: An urgent hearing of the Supreme Court was held after a former woman employee accused the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi of sexual misconduct.

A special Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna was set up by the Justice to hear the case.

Speaking his heart out, the Chief Justice said that the judiciary is under tremendous threat today. I do not want to stoop so low as to answer these chargers, Justice Gogoi also said.

An attempt is being made to undermine the independence of the judiciary by levelling allegations of sexual harassment. Allegations are being levelled because I am hearing a sensitive case next week. (The CJI will hear a contempt plea filed against Rahul Gandhi in the Rafale case next week)

There are forces trying to destabilise the judiciary. There are bigger forces behind the allegations hurled at me, he said while rebutting the allegations. The CJI also said that the woman who has made the allegations has a criminal background and there are two FIRs against her.

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The lady had worked as a junior assistant in the home of the CJI and was dismissed from service last year after an incident of inappropriate behaviour was reported to the registry.

What troubles me is that after 20 years of service, I have a bank balance of Rs 6 lakh and Rs 40 lakh in PF. No one catch me on money, they have to look for something else, the Justice also said.

I will continue to discharge my duties without fear or favour. I will not be part of any judicial orders on this. My senior colleague on the Bench, Justice Arun Mishra, will pass the order whatever it is.

The responsibility of this hearing is mine. We have taken this unusual and extraordinary step because things have gone too far. Judiciary cannot be made a scapegoat, the CJI said.

I will come tomorrow and adjourn all my cases. Why does a person want to become a judge? Reputation is all that matters, if that is also under attack, what is left?

Justice Arun Mishra refused to pass a judicial order, but asked the media to show restrain and act responsibly so that the independence of the judiciary is not affected by such wild and baseless allegations. The Bench however said that it would pass a judicial order at a later stage.

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