CJI denies sex harassment charges

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India this morning woke up with the stunned disbelief when a number media web outlet carried detailed story of an affidavit of a former  Supreme Court of India employee alleging sexual misconduct against the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The shocked nation was told that affidavit of the victim was handed over to 22 Judges of the Supreme Court with some evidences.

This unprecedented development forced the Supreme Court to have special proceeding this morning where Chief Justice of India strongly denied the matter.

A hurt Chief Justice said that the independence of the judiciary is “under threat” and it “cannot be made a scapegoat”.

“This is unbelievable. I don’t think I should stoop low even to deny these allegations,” the Chief Justice, who was heading the three judge bench, said during the hearing, and clarified that the charges against him will be examined not by him, but by other senior judges.

Chief Justice Gogoi believe that there was a conspiracy behind the allegations and said, “There has to be bigger force behind this, they want to deactivate office of Chief Justice”.

The Chief Justice said the allegations had cropped up as he is scheduled to hear important cases in the Supreme Court next week.

“I will sit on this chair and discharge my judicial functions without any fear… Things have gone too far. Judiciary cannot be made a scapegoat,” he said.

Chief Justice Gogoi said since there can be no corruption allegations against him, “people have to find something and they have found this”.

“After 20 years of selfless service as judge, I have bank balance of Rs. 6.80 lakh. My peon has more money than that… Is this a reward the Chief Justice gets after 20 years,” he asked.

The Chief Justice said the woman who made the allegations against him has a criminal background and that there are two police cases against her.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the allegations appear to be a blackmail technique.

The special bench of Chief Justice Gogoi, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna refrained from passing any judicial order “at this stage” and said they “leave it to the discretion of the media to exercise restraint and act responsibly.”

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