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Sexual Harassment Charge Against CJI: Denied Lawyer, Documents, Video Recording; Complainant to Not Participate in SC In-house Proceedings

She said that the judges informed her that the proceedings were "informal" and not according to the Vishakha guidelines.

The Supreme Court ex-employee, who has accused the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, said in a statement on April 30 that she will not be  participate in the proceedings of the in-house committee anymore.

In her statement, she has said that the committee was not operating in a fair manner, “Today, 30th April 2019, was the third day I went to the in-house committee of 3 Supreme Court Judges (Hon’ble Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Indu Malhotra). But due to serious concerns and reservations, I am no longer participating in these in-house committee proceedings. I joined and participated in the Committee proceedings in good faith on 26th and 29th April 2019 with the hope that this committee would proceed in a manner that is fair to me and sensitive to my circumstances.”

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She said that the three judges on the committee informed her that the proceedings were “informal” in nature.  “In the Committee hearing that took place on 26th April 2019, the Judges in the committee told me that this was neither an in-house committee proceeding, nor a proceeding under the Vishakha Guidelines and that it was an informal proceeding.”

The committee also declined her request to be represented by a lawyer. “In the hearing that followed on the 29th April, I was again not allowed to have a lawyer/support person present with me. I was repeatedly asked by the committee as to why I had made this complaint of sexual harassment so late. I found the atmosphere of the committee very frightening and I was very nervous because of being confronted and questioned by three Supreme Court Judges and without even the presence of my lawyer/support person,” her statement reads, adding, “After I left the first Committee hearing on the first day, I saw that the car I travelling by was being followed by two men on a motorcycle whose partial number I was able to note.”

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The complainant has claimed that the she was not given a copy of her statements that were being recorded. “Also because of my impaired hearing I was at times unable to follow what was being dictated as my statement. I was also not shown what was being recorded and no copy of my statement recorded on 26th and 29th April has been given to me till date.”

“I was compelled to walk out of the committee proceedings today because the committee seemed not to appreciate the fact that this was not an ordinary complaint but was a complaint of sexual harassment against a sitting CJI and therefore it was require to adopt procedure that would ensure fairness and equality in the highly unequal circumstances that I am placed. I had hoped that the approach of the committee towards me would be sensitive and not one that would cause me further fear, anxiety and trauma,” she added.

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