Protest Sparks After SC Clears CJI Of Sexual Assault Charges, Police Detain Activists

The sexual harassment case surrounding CJI Ranjan Gogoi seems to have come to an end, but the controversy surrounding it is far from being ended.

The Chief Justice of India had been charged with allegations of sexual assault and intimidation by a 35-year old former employee of his residential office. She claimed in her affidavit that Gogoi made sexual advances at her last October. After rejecting his advances, an upset Gogoi allegedly dismissed her from service. In addition to that, she claimed that her husband and brother-in-law, both then working as head constables in Delhi Police, were suspended from their duties. Later she continued to allege that her family was subjected to harassment as well.

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In the recent court hearing regarding the case conducted by a three-judge panel headed by Justice SA Bobde, Ranjan Gogoi was given a clean chit after the judges found “no substance” in the allegations made against him.

“The in-house committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19, 2019, of a former employee of the supreme court of India”, said Sanjeev Kalgaonkar, SC secretary general.

The hearing led to a massive protest by lawyers and activists outside the Supreme Court who raised their voices against the procedure adopted by the three-judge panel.

National Federation of India Women (NFIW) general secretary Annie Raja told India Today said the protest was being held to question the method adopted by the in-house investigation panel which gave a clean chit to Ranjan Gogoi.

She added that the activists want a “fair trial for the ex-Supreme court staffer”.

However, during the protests, the police imposed section 144 (unlawful assembly) on the protestors. Sources revealed that the police tried to “disperse” the gathering and eventually detained some journalists who were there to cover the procedure.

Even though the journalists covering the protest have been released now, around 30 women activists have been detained by the police at Mandir Marg Police Station, Delhi.

In a statement issued by the victim a few hours after the hearing, she said, “I am highly disappointed and dejected and feel that gross injustice has been done to me as a woman… Today my worst fears have come true.”

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While there’s still a lot of debate ongoing regarding the allegations and whether or not it’s a part of a larger conspiracy, the entire legal procedure and its aftermath do seem concerning.

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