Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday got a clean chit from a three-judge inquiry panel which found “no substance” in complaint of sexual harassment made by a former woman employee of the Supreme Court.
The in-house inquiry panel headed by senior most judge, Justice S A Bobde and comprising two woman judges Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, submittted its report to the next senior judge.
In a two para communication, Secretary General informed that the in-house committee has submitted its report on Monday.
“The in-house committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19,” it said.
The Secretary General also informed that the report of the committee, constituted as part of the procedure “is not liable to be made public” as held in the case of ‘Indira Jaising vs Supreme of India and Another’ (2003).
The top court’s two-judge bench had then declined to entertain a petition by Jaising wherein she sought a direction for the publication of the inquiry report made by a committee consisting of two Chief Justices and a Judge of different High Courts in respect of certain allegations of alleged involvement of sitting Judges of the High Court of Karnataka in certain incidents.
In the instant matter, after appearing before the inquiry panel for three days, the 35-year-old woman employee on April 30 refused to participate in the in-house inquiry committee of three judges, questioning the procedure adopted by it.
She said she has not been allowed to represent herself through a counsel, and there has not been any video and audio recording of the proceedings. She also claimed the committee did not follow the Vishakha guidelines by allowing external members.
The panel, in turn, has decided to proceed ex-parte.
Notably, CJI Ranjan Gogoi has met the committee on May 1 and refuted all the charges.
Separately, former SC judge Justice A K Patnaik was also appointed on judicial side by a three-judge bench to inquire into “conspiracy aspect” on the basis of an affidavit submitted by an advocate, Utsav Singh Bains.