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#MeToo: Former SC Employee Alleges Sexual Harassment By CJI Ranjan Gogoi

In a sworn affidavit sent to 22 judges the victim detailed a harrowing tale of harassment she and her family faced.

A 35-year-old woman who used to work as a junior court assistant at the Supreme Court (SC) has written in a sworn affidavit sent to 22 judges that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi had allegedly made sexual advances on her at his residence office on October 10 and 11, 2018.

The victim alleged, “He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine, and did not let go,” she wrote in an affidavit sent with a covering letter, adding, “He told me ‘hold me’, he did not let go of me despite the fact that I froze and tried to get out of his embrace by stiffening and moving my body away.”

Sruthisagar Yamunan and Supriya Sharma of Scroll reported that on December 21, she was dismissed from service. Taking a casual leave for one day without approval was cited as one of the three grounds for her dismissal.

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Subsequently, the victim alleged that her family too was harassed. Her husband and brother-in-law, head constables in Delhi Police, were suspended on December 28, 2018, for a case involving a colony dispute dating back to 2012 that had been mutually resolved.

The victim also alleged that she was taken to the CJI’s residence on January 11. She said that the Chief Justice’s wife asked her to apologise by bowing down before her on the floor and rubbing her nose at her feet. Despite not knowing what the apology was for, she did what she was asked.

The victim’s disabled brother-in-law, who was working as a temporary junior court attendant, was served a termination letter on January 14, without citing any reason for his dismissal, the report said.

The victim claimed that a false case was brought against her based on a cheating complaint alleging that she had taken Rs 50,000 from the complainant in 2017, promising to secure a job for him in the SC. She alleged she was arrested late at night and shackled at her feet. Although her husband was not arrested, he too was beaten up in police custody. Her brother-in-law, his wife and a male relative were also detained at Tilak Marg police station, as per the affidavit.

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The victim has asked for a special enquiry committee of senior retired judges of the SC to look into the charges of sexual harassment and subsequent persecution of her family.

As per reports, the Secretary-General of the SC has denied the allegations in an email, calling them “completely and absolutely false and scurrilous”. The email also said, “It is also very possible that there are mischievous forces behind all this, with an intention to malign the institution.”

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