In a shocking development, a female former staffer of the Supreme Court of India has leveled serious allegations against CJI Ranjan Gogoi. As per a report in Scroll.in, a 35-year-old woman who worked in as a junior court assistant in the SC has accused the CJI of sexual harassment.
As per the report, the woman has written to 22 judges of the SC, alleging that CJI Gogoi had made sexual advances on her at his residential office on October 10 and 11. The woman has reportedly submitted an affidavit with a covering letter to the 22 judges.
The woman’s affidavit reportedly reads, “He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine, and did not let go. He told me ‘hold me’, and he did not let go of me despite the fact that I froze and tried to get out of his embrace by stiffening and moving my body away.”
The woman has mentioned that after she had rebuffed the CJI’s sexual advancements, she was moved out of his residential office and then after two months, was dismissed from her job. One of the three reasons mentioned in the inquiry report as the grounds of her dismissal were she had taken a casual leave of one day without informing.
The woman had further alleged that the harassment did not stop even after her dismissal on December 21, 2018. She has added that her husband and her brother-in-law, who are both head constables in Delhi police, were suspended for an old case of colony dispute back from 2012 which had been mutually resolved.
Further, the woman has written that on January 11, a police officer took her to the CJI’s residence where the CJI’s wife asked her to apologise by prostrating on the floor and rubbing her nose n the ground. Despite her apology, the woman’s disabled brother-in-law who was appointed by the CJI as a temporary court staffer was allegedly dismissed from his job.
The woman alleges further that after all this, she and her husband were brought from their ancestral village in Rajasthan by the Delhi police over a complaint of cheating and bribery and were detained at the Tilak Marg police station along with other family members without food and water and were abused verbally and physically. The woman has also submitted video evidence of her conversation with a police officer where she is being told that a big man will never admit his mistake and she has to suffer the consequences.
In her affidavit, the woman has reportedly stated that her sufferings have become unbearable and there is now an imminent danger to her life. She has requested the judges of the SC to form an inquiry committee to look into the matter.
The Scroll.in has further published the response of the CJI over the issue wherein he has denied all the allegations and has mentioned that she was indeed posted at the CJI’s home office but given the nature of her work, she had, under no occasion, been alone with the CJI.
the CJI’s response also mentions that the said woman’s dismissal from her job and that of her brother in law were done only as per procedure and any police actions or departmental inquiry against them must have been under the rules of the Delhi Police which has nothing to do with the CJI’s office.
The CJI’s response calls the intent behind the woman’s allegations mischievous and scurrilous. It also points out that the woman has a criminal case pending against her and there is also an application in the court for the cancellation of her bail listed on 20 April, wherein she is accused of threatening the complainant of the bribery case.
The response also mentions that the woman and her family members have criminal cases against them and since the woman had made no complaints of harassment during the period of her employment and there were multiple complaints of misconduct against her, the allegations of sexual harassment must have been an afterthought as a pressure tactics to come out of the proceedings initiated against her.