Won't stoop low even to deny allegations: CJI Ranjan Gogoi

Won't stoop low even to deny allegations: CJI Ranjan Gogoi

"This is unbelievable. I should not stoop low even in denying it".

The former employee of the Supreme Court of India accused Gogoi of sexual harassment and persecution and sent copies of a sworn affidavit to the residences of 22 Supreme Court judges on Friday. He added that there is some bigger force behind the woman who made sexual harassment charges. Citing the public perception of his clean and incorruptible image, the CJI said: "Nobody can catch me on money part, so they found this to damage my reputation and destabilise the judiciary".

He said on Saturday that such sexual harassment allegations made against him put "independence of judiciary under very serious threat".

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear next week the cases related to the prime minister's biopic, a contempt of court case against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and a case regarding the seizure of cash in Tamil Nadu.

In the hurriedly called hearing after the allegations cropped up, the apex court left it to the "wisdom of media" to show restraint and act responsibly so that independence of judiciary is not affected. "Rs. 6 lakh 80 thousand is all I have as bank balance", The CJI continued.

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The lady had worked as a junior assistant in the home of the CJI and was dismissed from service a year ago after an incident of inappropriate behaviour was reported to the registry. During one such incident, "I was forced to push him away with my hands", she states.

"I have taken this unusual and extraordinary step of sitting in court today because things have gone too far", Gogoi said in response.

The Secretary General of the Supreme Court of India has responded to Scroll by calling the allegations "completely and absolutely false and scurrilous". Four media houses have published stories in great detail. "It's pathetic. Judges are to work under these conditions". In an exclusive carried by The Quint, a senior lawyer said, "Her entire family has been harassed, victimised and intimidated". I will sit on this chair and discharge my judicial functions without any fear, he added.

She continued, "My husband's other younger brother who was given a job in group D category in the Supreme Court under the Chief Justice's discretionary quota in October 2018, was also terminated without giving any reasons, in January 2019". In the affidavit, the woman said that after she rebuffed the chief justice, she was moved out of his residence office, where she had been posted in August 2018. Dismissing the allegations, Gogoi said that he was hurt with the "baseless charges".

The special bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, was assembled after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urgently mentioned the matter before the registry.

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