"My decision to recuse is only based on an intent to avoid any suspicion that this institution will not conduct itself in keeping with the highest standards of judicial propriety and wisdom", Justice Ramana wrote in his letter to Justice Bobde informing him about his recusal from the panel enquiring in to the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
A panel headed by Justice Bobde was constituted on Tuesday to conduct an in-house inquiry into the allegations.
On Wednesday, the former staff who levelled allegations against CJI, had objected to the inclusion of Justice Ramana in the in-house panel and had claimed that he 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 had also 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.
On Thursday Justice Ramana has recused himself from the panel.
"It is the extraordinary nature of the complaint, and the evolving circumstances and discourse that underly my decision to recuse and not the grounds cited by the complainant per se. Let my recusal be a clear message to the nation that there should be no fears about probity in our institution, and that we will not refrain from going to any extent to protect the trust reposed in us. That is, after all, our final source of moral strength". It is true that justice must not only be done, but also manifestly seem to be done. Let me also caution, at this stage, that it is also equally true that no one who approaches the Court should have the power to determine the forum and subvert the processes of justice. Let not my recusal in the instant matter be taken to mean, even in the slightest of measures, that we have transgressed either of these principles"., he wrote in the letter.
Read the Full Text of the Letter Here