India's top judge cleared of sexual harassment charges

A former assistant of the top court wrote to 22 judges on April 19, 2019, that Mr Gogoi had made sexual advances to her at his residence office in October.
A former assistant of the top court wrote to 22 judges on April 19, 2019, that Mr Gogoi had made sexual advances to her at his residence office in October.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (DPA) - India's Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was accused of sexual harassment by a former staffer of the Supreme Court, was on Monday (May 6) cleared of the charges by a three-judge inquiry panel, officials said.

"The in-house committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19 of a former employee of the Supreme Court," Supreme Court secretary-general Sanjeev Kalgaonkar said in a brief statement.

He said that in accordance with protocol, the report of the court-appointed internal committee was "not liable to be made public".

The 35-year-old former assistant of the top court wrote to 22 judges on April 19 that Mr Gogoi had made sexual advances to her at his residence office in October.

She alleged that she was dismissed from service and members of her family were victimised after she rebuffed these advances.

After the probe began, the accuser last week withdrew from the inquiry, saying she felt she was "not likely to get justice from this committee".

In a statement, she said she found the "atmosphere of the committee very frightening" and that she felt "very nervous" as she was not allowed to have her lawyer with her or discuss the proceedings.

 

Mr Gogoi, 64, denied the allegations and claimed they were part of a bigger plot to "destabilise the judiciary".

The Supreme Court has also appointed a former judge to investigate allegations that there was a conspiracy to frame Mr Gogoi in the case.