Law of the land
It appears as though the in-house committee was not set up to deliver justice to this woman (“Full text: Why woman who accused CJI Gogoi of sexual harassment is withdrawing from inquiry”). The committee, it is seeming, was set up to protect the institution. The present in-house committee is a total hogwash. The judges are wasting precious time and public money to make a mockery of the justice delivery system. What is the problem in making the woman comfortable and providing whatever she has asked for in her prayer?
Has she not suffered enough already? Who would be responsible if something untoward were to happen to her? The whole episode is reeking of high-handedness, hubris and temerity of the judges that nothing can touch them and that they are above the law. The more the judges deny the basic legal remedy she is seeking, the more easy it is going to be to pin the blame on Ranjan Gogoi and all the other justices for this grave miscarriage of justice. The woman’s allegations are seeming to be true from the way the judges are acting. The actions of these judges do not bode well for the country. – Ranganatha Chakravarthy
The whole episode of the woman seems to be a mystery. The deeper conspiracy of the complaint is to be investigated. When she can send copies of her letter to 22 Supreme Court judges a common man is unable to believe she is frightened of facing inquiry.
If she is really victimised, she should have stood like a rock. – Murthy US
This kind of menace is dangerous to the nation. It sounds as though any woman who does not mind being exposed in the public arena can make any statements against any person. Where was she for such a long time? A case like this must be left for someone like the CBI to explore. Surely an agency like that can check the background of the person concerned and establish the kind of person they are. Also perhaps investigation should be made about changes in financial and other position before and after such claims. Only then will the truth come out. All those who were supported such people including journalists must be punished seriously. Otherwise this menace will spread like cancer. – TPK Nair
This is a clear case of victimisation, and illegal. Earlier, I was convinced that the Indian premier investigation agencies are corrupt. Now, there are question marks of the senior most judiciary too. The Constitution has been long trampled under the feet of the politicians and bureaucracy. There is absolutely no justice in India. – Rajeev Verma
Question of procedure
Obviously, the honourable Chief Justice of India can do “no wrong” (“‘Preserve neutrality, fairness’: Women lawyers say CJI should not hold office until inquiry is over”). Your story on the subject was not only elaborate but also unbiased and non-partisan. You sincerely seemed to have represented both the parties.
There’s a famous Urdu couplet that comes to mind:
Jo chup rahegi zuban-e-khanjar
Lahu pukarega aasteen ka
(While the blade may remain silent, the bloodstains on his sleeve, give the murderer away)
And there is too much of blood all around in this story, as narrated in your earlier column. Having said that however, it’s anybody’s guess what’s to follow. – Farukh Naqushbandi
A super-sized oil tanker has been put on fire by small match stick. The fire cannot be doused by sprinkling showers of judicial orders, which have the force of a garden sprinkler in present context. Three cheers to the journalist and the publisher for daring to do this story in the present environment. Of course the woman had no other options. She was searching for small straw while being forced to drown. If she doesn’t succeed now, at least she’ll go down fighting. – Gurdial Sandhu
The stand taken by Women in Criminal Law Association is appreciable. The present allegations almost run parallel to the #MeToo confessions. Union Minister MJ Akbar resigned in the face of the allegation and is fighting to redeem his image through a defamation case. This means the allegations levelled against him have been taken seriously. If the allegations are found untrue, naturally those who made them will face the consequences. Similarly if there is any conspiracy against Chief Justice, that should come out. It is premature to toughen the stand against the complainant without an inquiry. – P Vijayachandran
The Chief Justice of India should have recused himself from the special hearing on the issue. However, the timing of the complainant and the background of the complainant, as reported, create lot of doubts over the allegations. The CJI should allow an independent investigation in the matter. – Narendra Agarwal
Hats off to Scroll.in reporters and editors who coordinated the coverage and the facts (“What you need to know about the allegations against CJI Ranjan Gogoi – and the ‘special hearing’”). If Gogoi is innocent, then he should not have any problem in an investigation. But I say with full seriousness that if the woman is suffering from the setback in her career and if the facts are real, it is a shame. I suggest that upholding the law should be the utmost priority in this society and and investigation against Gogoi is mandatory. – Aman Virdi
Regardless of the veracity of the complainant’s allegation, the sequence of events described in Scroll.in and other media reports leaves me with no doubt that great injustice and abuse of power has occurred. The ham-handed and arrogant response from the Supreme Court Secretary General and the registrar lends support to the essential fact of the woman’s victimisation. How could the woman who worked since 2014 and was posted in the CJI’s home office as recently as October 2018 be dismissed from service by December 17 of the same year, that too on some frivolous charges which, if true, would not merit more than a verbal reprimand? That in itself is a grave miscarriage of justice.
I have never heard of anyone in a government service being dismissed for being on unauthorised leave for a day or for complaining about repeated transfers, thrice in three weeks. This seems to be a blatant act of vengeance which must have a powerful person behind it. I can only hope that the ostensible blatant abuse of power backfires those guilty are punished. – K Jayaram
The matter is very serious and the guilty should be punished as per law. This is not attack on judiciary, it is an attack on the cohesive relationship among employees in a work place where men and women are working. If an allegation can be made against the Chief Justice without adequate cause, what will be fate of a common employee working with women in any office? – GC Pradhan
Many people misunderstand a Court of Law to be the same as the office of the judge (“The Readers’ Editor writes: Is Arun Jaitley right to claim there are no ‘red lines’ for news sites?”). A judge merely interprets the law and is certainly not the law, which means no judge can deliver a judgement contrary to what has been already laid down by the law. If the judge persists in doing so, then that judge personally stands in contempt of court and is unfit to continue as a judge.
The ailing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was once projected as the BJP’s liberal face. He has now abandoned any such pretense and is more rabid than the likes of even Pragya Thakur. Though I do not gloat over his failing health and wish him a speedy recovery, it is undeniable that his mental faculties have been weakened.
That the central government and more specifically Home Minister Rajnath Singh, as per the affidavit of the complainant in the sexual harassment case involving the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, was aware of the matter and did nothing implies that it was most probably used as leverage against the Supreme Court to get favorable judgements. – R Joseph
There are a few business houses who made lot of money by manipulation (“SC asks lawyer who alleged a conspiracy to frame CJI Ranjan Gogoi to appear on Wednesday”). There are seven business group that control entire media. Cash for judgements is a fact. When these people are caught they engage Pied Piper-like tactics to divert attention by harping on procedural lapses. – Kshiti Ranjan Das
This case is an eye-opener to how women are misusing laws. This is a warning that we urgently need to review our judiciary system as many men are suffering but nobody listens to them. – Manju Mittal
Appeal for inquiry
The 259 activists who have spoken seem to have a common script and that is what becomes suspect (“Allegations against CJI: Over 250 women ask Supreme Court to conduct fair and impartial inquiry”). There appears to be a funded agenda to discredit the institution and its presiding officers. Scroll.in is specialising in unverified sensationalism and one suspects whether those behind the masks are certain-behind-the scenes operators. – S Kalyanaraman
Agnivesh has studied law while we worked in trade unions (“CJI must keep hearing cases listed before him despite sexual harassment allegations, says Agnivesh”). We all know the first principle of natural justice is that nobody should be judge in his own case. Just because the Chief Justice is master of roster, that doesn’t that he can be a member of the bench where his case has come up. This is nothing to do with his bank balance it his length of service. It may be frivolous and vexatious case but it should be settled following due legal process. This should not be attributed as some thing against judiciary. The CJI can carry out his judiciary functions. At the same time, this issue should be cleared in a appropriate manner. – ST Chandrasekhar Babu