Jaya Bachchan among four women MPs walked out of the Rajya Sabha on Monday protesting the maiden speech by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) and nominated member Ranjan Gogoi, who had faced sexual harassment allegations during his tenure as CJI, supporting the contentious Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The four women MPs were- Jaya Bachchan, Samajwadi Party; Priyanka Chaturvedi, Shiv Sena (UBT); Vandana Chavan, NCP; and Sushmita Dev, TMC, who walked out of the Upper House protesting Gogoi’s maiden speech over sexual harassment charges against him.
Notably, in the year 2019, a former junior court officer alleged that she was sexually harassed by the former CJI during his tenure. A month later, a three-member in-house committee of Supreme Court judges unanimously acquitted him of the charges.
Due to this alleged sexual harassment case against him, the women MPs walked out of the upper house as he got up to participate for the first time in the discussion in Rajya Sabha since he became a member in 2020.
Gogoi supported the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, explaining, “In my respectful submission, the bill is perfectly valid. The position in my perception is this- the state legislature makes laws for the states, Parliament makes laws for the Union territories. For NCT of Delhi, the legislature makes laws on state subjects except three. By virtue of 239AA(3)(b), Parliament has the power to frame laws beyond these three. That is exactly what the bill is seeking to do. Therefore, there is no question of overreaching (SC order). As a layman, it is not subjudice, what is pending before the SC is the validity of the Ordinance and specifically two questions referred to the Constitution Bench, and has nothing to do with what is being discussed in the House.”