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CJI Gogoi case: Woman says she won’t appear before in-house panel

New Delhi, April 30, 2019-

The former employee of the Supreme Court, who has accused Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, said on Tuesday that she would no more appear before an in-house committee set up by the apex court to probe her charges as she felt that she is “not likely to get justice”.

The woman, who appeared once before the committee, comprising Justices SA Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, 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 CJI 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 Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court and without having a lawyer or support person with me,” said the woman.

“I felt I was not likely to get justice from this committee and so I am no longer participating in the 3 Judge Committee proceedings,” she said in the statement.

The woman had told the committee that she had lost hearing in one ear completely due to “stress” and as a consequence, she was “unable to hear, sometimes, the instructions that were being dictated by Justice Bobde to the court official as a record of my statements before the committee.”

She added that “the committee declined my request for video recording” of the committee proceedings. “I was also clearly told that no lawyer/support person could be present with me during the committee hearing.”

She claimed that the committee instructed her orally not to disclose the proceedings of the committee to the media and “not share the proceedings with her lawyer Vrinda Grover.”

The committee was formed after the woman levelled allegations against the Chief Justice reportedly in a letter to 22 judges of the Supreme Court.  (Agency)

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