Lawyers Are Sending SC Judges Copies Of ‘Sexual Harassment At Workplace Act’ To Protest Clean Chit On Sexual Harassment Charges To CJI Gogoi
A lawyer associated with the campaign said, “This isn’t a case of whether the allegations are true or false. The process followed is not fair.”
Lawyers from across India and abroad are sending copies of “Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act” to the judges of Supreme Court (SC) via Indian post, to protest the clean chit given by the in-house committee to Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on allegations of sexual harassment from an ex-employee.
The campaign called “May It Please Your Lordships” is driven by young advocates. SheThePeople reports that the movement has been gathering steam and lawyers from universities and bar associations from other countries, too, are joining in.
As per those running the campaign, “Independence of Judiciary” has been being twisted to “mean a complete lack of accountability and existence above the law”. They slammed SC judges for getting away with “impunity from charges of sexual harassment levelled against them.”
They said that the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013 is “a cleverly worded, wholly inadequate regulation” and called to attention the inaction from the judiciary, despite open letters and statements about the bizarre handling of sexual harassment allegations against the CJI.
One of the lawyers leading the campaign told SheThePeople, “Though the campaign is on an individual level and not at an institutional level, I believe it’s powerful and now gathering steam.”
Another lawyer associated with the campaign said, “This isn’t a case of whether the allegations (against CJI Ranjan Gogoi) are true or false. The process followed is not fair.”
SheThePeople reported the organisers saying, “We were so enraged with the proceedings to the extent that when one amongst us stood up to say ‘Maybe they don’t know the procedure, maybe they don’t know the act’, others actively responded by saying ‘Then let’s send them some copies!”
On May 6, an in-house committee probing sexual harassment allegation against CJI Ranjan Gogoi gave him a clean chit. The committee also said it was not liable to make their findings public. On May 7 and 8, peaceful protests against the SC’s clean chit were interrupted by the police, and the agitators were rounded up into police vans.