The Supreme Court has reinstated the woman employee who had levelled sexual harassment allegations against former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The woman joined duty and then went on leave, sources told the newspaper. They added that all her arrears have been cleared.
In April last year, the woman, who had earlier worked as a junior court assistant at the Supreme Court, alleged in an affidavit that Gogoi made sexual advances on her at his residence office on October 10 and October 11, 2018. She had sent a complaint to 22 judges of the Supreme Court on April 19 and called for an inquiry into the actions of Gogoi, who she said not only harassed her but was also responsible for her subsequent victimisation, and that of her family.
The complainant had said that after she rebuffed the chief justice, she was moved out of his residence office, where she had been posted in August 2018. Later on December 21, she was dismissed from service. She claimed her husband and brother-in-law were suspended from the Delhi Police on December 28, 2018, for a criminal case involving a colony dispute dating back to 2012 that had been mutually resolved.
Gogoi denied the allegations during a special hearing he called on April 20. The chief justice said he did not “deem it appropriate” to reply to the allegations but claimed they were part of a “bigger plot”, possibly one to “deactivate the office of the CJI”.
On April 30, the woman withdrew from the inquiry as she had not been allowed to have a lawyer present at depositions and was not informed about the procedure that would be followed. On May 6, the in-house committee rejected her complaint and the court’s secretary general said the panel had found “no substance” in her allegations. The next day, the complainant had asked the court’s in-house committee to give her a copy of their report exonerating Gogoi. The court official said that the inquiry committee’s report was not liable to be made public.
Cheating case against woman
Meanwhile, a 31-year-old man, Naveen Kumar, had accused the woman of cheating him of Rs 50,000 to get him a job at the Supreme Court. On March 3, the Tilak Marg police station had registered a first information report against the woman based on Kumar’s complaint. He alleged that a man identified as Mansa Ram had taken him to meet the junior court assistant in June 2017. She allegedly promised to get him a job at the court, quoting a price of Rs 10 lakh. In the complaint, he claimed he gave her an advance of Rs 50,000. However, the woman rejected the charges against her as “false and frivolous”, and said she was being victimised for complaining against Gogoi.
Naveen Kumar was missing from his home in Haryana from April.
The police arrested the woman on March 10 for the alleged offences of cheating, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy. She was sent to judicial custody by a court the next day and granted bail on March 12.
The police sought the cancellation of bail after Kumar alleged that she had threatened him. Kumar also noted that Mansa Ram had died in January.
In April, Kumar’s mother Meena said her son left for Chandigarh at 7 am on April 20. His phone has been switched off since then. She also claimed that she had told him “not to file the case” as it was “not wise to fight with powerful people”. “He is scared for his life. When he left, he told me that everything was going to be all right,” she said. According to his family, Kumar used to work as a security guard in Jhajjar.
In September, after several summons, Kumar appeared in court. The Delhi Police filed a closure report in the criminal case after Kumar told the police he did not want to pursue “any further legal action” against the woman.