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‘Gross Travesty Of Justice’: PUCL Demands Release Of In-House Panel Report On Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CJI Ranjan Gogoi

PUCL called the course of events an "egregious breach and flagrant violation of all principles of natural justice, procedural fairness, fair play and rule of law."

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on May 8, strongly denounced the report of the Supreme Court (SC) in-house committee which ruled that there was no substance to the sexual harassment allegations made by a former SC employee against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

PUCL demanded that the complainant should get a copy of the in-house committee report and that it should be placed before the full court of the SC for an informed decision. The human rights organisation also called for the complaint to be placed before an independent external committee headed by a woman, comprising of experts on sexual harassment.

PUCL Statement on Clean Chit to CJI Gogoi - Final 1 - 08May2019

PUCL also called for an independent Internal Complaints Committee in the SC to formulate guidelines outlining the procedural rights, rules and safeguards for conducting enquiries into sexual harassment allegations made against SC judges.

Also Read: #SupremeInjustice: People Protesting SC Clean Chit to CJI Gogoi Picked Up By Police

Terming the in-house committee’s ruling as a “gross travesty of justice, flagrant violation of the principles of natural justice and rule of law,” PUCL called the whole course of events an “egregious breach and flagrant violation of all principles of natural justice, procedural fairness, fair play and rule of law.”

On the committee’s decision not to make the report public, PUCL said that it compounds the apprehension that the entire judicial system in the apex court ‘did not act in a fair and judicious manner. The human rights body added that the ruling harmed the basic tenet of law that “not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done”.

The human rights body alleged that the image and record of the apex court were “grievously injured and tarnished” by the final order of the committee that was passed after the complainant withdrew herself from the proceedings when she was refused a lawyer.  

It said that the “most disappointing” part was how the Supreme Court reacted to the sexual harassment allegations “in precisely the same patriarchal manner” like other Indian institutions, by acting to “vilify the woman complainant, close ranks to alienate her, intimidate anyone else from supporting her and in all other ways ensure that fair, considerate and judicious enquiry is denied to women complainants.”

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