Millennium Post

CJI sexual harassment case: Women protest outside SC, 50 detained

NEW DELHI: There was chaos outside the Supreme Court as several women activists and lawyers gathered outside Gate C to protest on Tuesday, a day after a three-member in-house inquiry panel gave a clean chit to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in the sexual harassment charges against him.

The crowd started to gather around 10.15am. In the next half an hour, there was a massive security cover and cops started to detain women who were sloganeering. After a lot of hustle, over 50 women were detained during the demonstration where protesters demanded a fair probe into the allegations levelled by a former Supreme Court staffer.

This comes a day after the three-judge top court panel headed by Justice SA Bobde found no substance in the sexual harassment allegations levelled by a former apex court employee against Chief Justice Gogoi.

Annie Raja, National Federation of India Women, General Secretary, said that the protest was being held to question the method adopted by the in-house investigation panel which gave a clean chit to Ranjan Gogoi. She said that the activists want a fair trial for the ex-Supreme court staffer who had earlier accused the CJI of sexually harassing her.

A few men also gathered as they saw the women protesting, coming out in favour of the complainant, who on April 30, had accused the Chief Justice of India (CJI) of sexually harassing her and had said that she would no longer appear before the in-house panel set up by the apex court to probe her charges as she felt that she was not likely to get justice.

"We stand in solidarity with the complainant. We vehemently reject this conclusion as it has been arrived at without adherence to norms of a fair and independent enquiry. We are utterly dismayd and shocked by this blatant abuse of power exercised by the highest constitutional authority," said an activist present there.

Adding to this, another activist said that they are aghast that 22 years after the Vishakha guidelines and six years after the passing of the Act, there are no clear procedures laid down to address complaints of sexual harassment against the CJI, sitting and retired judges of the Supreme Court.

"Today is a dark and sad day. The Supreme Court has told us that when it comes to one of its own, imbalances of power don't matter, due process doesn't matter, the basic norms of justice don't matter," said an activist.

"This clean chit is a farce. If the Supreme Court does not give justice to the women, where should the women go? If justice is not provided to us, then you are compelling us to get to the streets to demand it. We are left with no option to make our voices get heard. How many women will the police send behind bars? We will protest over there as well," said Rakhi Sehgal, labour activist and researcher.

(with inputs of TOI)

Next Story
Share it