CJI sexual harassment case: SC denies report that Justices Nariman, Chandrachud met Justice Bobde

Media report said that Justices Nariman and Chandrachud had met him

May 05, 2019 01:47 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 08:55 am IST - New Delhi

A view of the Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi. File

The Supreme Court on Sunday denied a media report that two of its judges — Justices Rohinton F. Nariman and D.Y. Chandrachud — met Justice S.A. Bobde, who is chairing an in-house committee inquiring into allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

A statement issued by the court’s Secretary-General said the report was “wholly incorrect” that the two judges met Justice Bobde on the evening of May 3 (Friday). The statement categorically said the Justice Bobde panel was examining the allegations without any input from any other judge of the Supreme Court.

The Indian Express  newspaper had published that the two judges had met Justice Bobde and discussed their concerns. The report said Justice Chandrachud had also written to the panel, which comprises Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee as members. It said Justice Chandrachud had asked the panel not to proceed ex parte  without the participation of the complainant woman and to either provide her with a lawyer or appoint an amicus curiae .

The court statement does not specifically deny the letter reportedly written by Justice Chandrachud on May 2. It only carefully denies that Justices Chandrachud and Nariman had together met Justice Bobde. 

Without aides

On the third day of the committee hearing on April 30, the complainant had refused to further participate in the “informal” proceedings. She had issued a press statement citing that one of the reasons for her withdrawal was that the panel allegedly refused her request to have a lawyer or a support person accompany her during the hearings. “I was compelled to walk out of the committee proceedings today (April 30) because the committee seemed not to appreciate the fact that this was not an ordinary complaint but a complaint of sexual harassment against a sitting CJI,” she had stated in a press release.

A highly placed source in the Supreme Court had explained that, “She (the complainant) declined to participate following which the committee conveyed to her that the consequences of her decision would be that the committee would have to continue the hearings ex parte . She agreed.”

The CJI had also participated in the committee proceedings.

 

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