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Law topper skips convocation to avoid receiving gold medal from CJI Gogoi to protest handling of sexual harassment charges against him

Surbhi Karwa says Supreme Court did not follow just and fair procedure before giving clean chit to the Chief Justice of India in the sexual harassment allegations

Law topper at the National Law University in Delhi, Surbhi Karwa missed her convocation ceremony as she did not want to receive it from the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, accused of sexual harassment. As per reports, Karwa was disappointed with the manner in which the allegations against CJI were handled.

Karwa, who was to receive her gold medal in LL.M at the National Law University, Delhi, was absent when her name was called out at the convocation ceremony held on August 18. “Unfortunately, she is not here. We will award her the medal in absentia,” Prof (Dr) G S Bajpai, the university registrar, said during the convocation.

Surbhi Karwa was aware that she would be awarded the gold medal for standing first in her class, consciously skipped her convocation ceremony to avoid receiving the medal from CJI Gogoi as it contradicted her morals.

She said, “It is my firm view that the Supreme Court did not follow just and fair procedure before giving clean chit to the Chief Justice of India in the sexual harassment allegations raised against him by a former employee. Therefore, the thought of receiving the award from the CJI made me feel morally uncomfortable”.

“Everything I learnt in the classroom put me in a moral quandary over the last few weeks on whether I should receive the award from CJI Gogoi. The institution he heads failed when sexual harassment allegations were made against him,” Karwa asserted.

She further added that she is looking for answers to find out the roles lawyers need to paly in guarding Constitutional values, which she said was mentioned by the CJI in one of his speeches.

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