Lawyers want ‘full court’ to hear allegations against CJI

Lawyers want ‘full court’ to hear allegations against CJI

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) have expressed deep reservations regarding the suo moto court hearing held on April 20 on the issue related to allegations of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.

The associations said that the allegations of an ex-employee of the Supreme Court should be dealt with as per established procedure of law, which must apply in every case “uniformly”.

The SCBA has sought action by the “Full Court of the Supreme Court” into the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

“That procedure adopted for conducting the court proceedings on April 20, in the matter of ex-employee of Supreme Court against the CJI is in violation of procedure established by law as well as principles of natural justice,” the SCBA said in a resolution.

The Executive Committee (EC) of the SCBA has decided to collate all the relevant material and facts with respect to the allegations, which may be considered by it in its next meeting.

Earlier, the SCAORA said that it strongly disapproves the manner in which the complaint was dealt, and it seeks inquiry and action in the matter.

The association said it “seeks immediate appointment of a committee headed by full court of Supreme Court to impartially investigate and inquire into the allegations made against the CJI, and give independent findings into the matter”.

CJI Gogoi had convened a Special Bench on Saturday morning after the media published allegations of sexual harassment against him.

The Special Bench addressed the allegations levelled by a former apex court staffer. The CJI denied the allegations, saying the complainant has criminal antecedents and that there is a larger force behind these attempts which are part of a conspiracy to unsettle the judiciary.

The Chief Justice also said that he will continue to discharge his duties and complete his full tenure.

Although the CJI sat on the Special Bench with Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, the court order, however, did not bear his name. The propriety of such an urgent hearing has been questioned, following the order.