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'My Character Damaged Without Hearing Me', Woman Who Alleged Sexual Harassment By CJI Expresses Concerns About Justice Bobde Panel

Live Law News Network
24 April 2019 1:41 PM GMT
My Character Damaged Without Hearing Me, Woman Who Alleged Sexual Harassment By CJI Expresses Concerns About Justice Bobde Panel
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The ex-SC staff who alleged sexual harassment by the Chief Justice of India has written to the in-house enquiry committee headed by Justice Bobde expressing several concerns.

Referring to Visakha guidelines and POSH Act, she has stated that the enquiry committee constituted by the SC does not have majority woman members and an external member as mandated by law.

She has also said that the news reports about the comments made by the judges and top law officers of the government during the special sitting held in suo moto proceedings on Saturday have left her "frightened and helpless" and that she was worried if her complaint has been "declared to be false by the Hon'ble Judges and senior law officers" without hearing her.

The woman said she was aggrieved the remarks of the CJI that "I don't think that this can be a plot of a junior assistant. There is a bigger plot. They want to deactivate the office of CJI."

She has highlighted the comments of Justice Arun Mishra that the complaint was based on "wild and baseless allegations"

Comments made by Justice Sanjeev Khanna, attorney general K.K. Venugopal and solicitor general Tushar Mehta were also flagged by the complainant.

"My character was damaged without any reason and without hearing me", she said.

She also referred to the blog written by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who condemned her.

"Because of these events I am very scared and feeling isolated and depressed", she said.

Objects to inclusion of Justice Ramana in the panel

The woman has also objected to the inclusion of Justice Ramana in the in-house panel. She mentioned that Justice Ramana was a frequent visitor of the residence of the CJI and is a "close friend of the CJI and is like a family member to him". She pointed out that on April 20, the day her affidavit was sent to the Supreme Court judges, Justice Ramana, speaking in Hyderabad, had dismissed her allegations.

Justice Ramana was quoted as saying, "We have seen such attempts in the past and we will see some more in the future… Do not be wary of such criticisms as we have to uphold the dignity of the judiciary."

Therefore, she expressed the fear that her complaint may not get "objective and fair hearing" before the committee having Justice Ramana.

She has also highlighted that the notice issued by the Committee does not speak of the procedure that will be followed by it. 

The woman also demanded right to take assistance of a legally trained person before the committee as she has no training, knowledge or experience in the field of law and evidence unlike judges.

Lastly, she demanded that the proceedings be video recorded so that there can be no dispute as to what transpired.

"I have suffered a lot and I am hopeful that my suffering and torture of my family will end soon. For this I request that Lordships will consider the points I have made", she said in conclusion. 

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