“Judiciary Under Threat”: Chief Justice Denies Sex Harassment Allegation

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Saturday held an urgent hearing after a former woman employee accused the Chief Justice of India of sexual misconduct.

A special bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was set up by Chief Justice Gogoi to hear the case.

During the course of the hearing, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi spoke his heart out in the court room and said that the judiciary is under tremendous threat today.

“I don’t want to stoop so low as to answer these charges,” Justice Gogoi said.

He said an attempt is being made to undermine the independence of the judiciary by levelling allegations of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India.

Allegations are being hurled against me because I am hearing a sensitive case next week. I will not give in. I have seven months of service left to hear and decide the cases as they have to be done,” he said.

“There are forces that are trying to destabilise the judiciary. There are bigger forces behind these allegations hurled at me,” Justice Gogoi said while rebutting the allegations of sexual harassment by a former woman employee.

The Chief Justice claimed that the woman who had made the allegations has a criminal background.

“The woman who has made these allegations has a criminal background, there are two FIRs against her,” he said.

The woman worked as a former junior assistant at the home of the CJI. She 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. When I was a judge I had more. No one can catch me on money. They have to look for something else,” the Chief Justice said.

“All employees of the Supreme Court are treated respectfully by me,” he said.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear next week the cases related to the prime minister’s biopic, a contempt of court case against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and a case regarding the seizure of cash in Tamil Nadu.

 

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