The Supreme Court on Sunday issued a statement where it denied that Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Rohinton Nariman met members of an in-house committee probing the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.
According to a media report, it was claimed that Chandrachud and Nariman met the committee members — Justices S.A. Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra — on the evening of May 3 to register their concerns to continue the investigations into the allegations in the absence of the complainant.
In the statement, Supreme Court Secretary General Sanjeev Kalgaonkar said: “This is wholly incorrect.”
“The in-house committee which is deliberating on the issue concerning honourable Chief Justice of India deliberates on its own without any input from any other honourable judge of this court.”
On April 30, a former employee of the Supreme Court who has accused Chief Justice Gogoi of sexual harassment, in a statement said she would no more appear before the committee set up by the apex court as she felt that she was “not likely to get justice”.
The woman said she felt “quite intimidated and nervous” in the presence of the three judges of the Supreme Court.
In a statement to the media, she expressed serious reservations over the panel, saying it was “an in-house committee of sitting judges junior to the Chief Justice and not an external committee as I had requested…”
The woman said during the panel’s hearing on April 26, the judges told her that it was neither an in-house committee proceeding nor a proceeding under the Vishakha Guidelines and that it was an informal proceeding.
“I was asked to narrate my account which I did to the best of my ability even though I felt quite intimidated and nervous in the presence of three honourable Judges of the Supreme Court and without having a lawyer or support person with me.”
The committee was formed after the woman, on April 19, levelled allegations against the Chief Justice reportedly in a letter to 22 judges of the Supreme Court.