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Woman Who Accused CJI Ranjan Gogoi Of Sexual Harassment Refuses To Appear Before SC Panel

The woman told the judges that since her repeated requests for the presence of her lawyer during the panel's proceedings and it's audio and video recording had been denied, she no longer wants to participate in the inquiry.

Woman Who Accused CJI Ranjan Gogoi Of Sexual Harassment Refuses To Appear Before SC Panel
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
Woman Who Accused CJI Ranjan Gogoi Of Sexual Harassment Refuses To Appear Before SC Panel
outlookindia.com
2019-04-30T21:12:25+0530
The former Supreme Court staffer who triggered a storm with her allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has decided to not appear before the three-judge inquiry panel that has been constituted to examine her complaint. 
 
The woman, who appeared before the inquiry panel comprising of Supreme Court's Justices S.A. Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee on April 26 and 29, told the judges, on Tuesday, that since her repeated requests for the presence of her lawyer, Vrinda Grover, during the panel's proceedings and it's audio and video recording had been denied, she no longer wants to participate in the inquiry.

The woman said in a statement that Tuesday was the third day she had gone to participate before the three-member panel headed by Justice S A Bobde.

"But due to serious concerns and reservations, I am no longer participating in these in-house committee proceedings," she said in a statement. 

She has also alleged that despite her informing the panel of judges that she was trailed by four unidentified men on her way home after she left the previous two sittings of the inquiry, no action was taken to assure her of her safety.
 
"I felt I was not likely to get justice from this committee and so I am no longer participating in the 3-judge committee proceedings," said the former Supreme Court staffer in a statement.

Expressing serious reservations about the in-house committee, the woman said, "The the committee was an in-house committee of sitting judges junior to the CJI and not an external committee as I had requested."

The woman said during the committee hearing on April 26, the judges on the panel had told her that this was neither an in-house committee proceeding nor a proceeding under the Vishakha Guidelines and that it was an informal proceeding.

"I was asked to narrate my account which I did to the best of my ability even though I felt quite intimidated and nervous in the presence of three Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court and without having a lawyer or support person with me," said the woman.

The woman had pointed out to the committee that she had lost hearing in one ear completely due to stress and that she was undergoing daily treatment. As a consequence, she was unable to hear sometimes the instructions that were being dictated by Justice Bobde to the court official as a record of my statements before the committee.

"Further, the committee declined my request for video recording of the committee proceedings. I was also clearly told that no lawyer/support person could be present with me during the committee hearing," said the woman in her statement for boycotting the in-house inquiry.

She said the committee instructed her orally not to disclose the proceedings of the committee to the media and not to share the proceedings with my lawyer Vrinda Grover.

Last week, Justice N.V. Ramana, who was on the committee initially, had withdrawn after the woman complained that he was a family friend of the Chief Justice and sought the inclusion of a second woman judge. The three-member committee was recast after her objections.

(with inputs from IANS)

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