NEW DELHI―On Monday, at least two associations of lawyers practising in the Supreme Court issued resolutions criticising the handling of the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi while a third resolution by the Supreme Court Employees Welfare Association supported him.
In the morning, the Supreme Court Advocates―On-Record Association, a group of advocates with the exclusive right to file petitions in the apex court, sought the appointment of a committee headed by “full court of the Supreme Court” to conduct an impartial investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment made by a former court employee against Chief Justice Gogoi.
In its resolution, the association also expressed “deep reservation” against the “procedural impropriety shown by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi” in a suo moto hearing held on Saturday after several online news portals reported the allegations made by a former employee of the court.
In sharp contrast with the dismissive approach of the court towards the allegations, the association further stated that, “The allegations of the Ex Employee of the Supreme Court have to be dealt with as per the established procedure of law and law must be applied in each and every case uniformly.”
Within hours on Monday, towards early evening, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) also called on the full court of the Supreme Court to “take all such necessary steps as may be required in law in this regard”. The Executive Committee of the SCBA also decided to “collate all the materials and facts” pertaining to the sexual harassment allegations which “may be considered” in the next meeting. It called Saturday’s hearing a “violation of procedure established by law as well as principles of natural justice”.
On its part, the resolution of the Supreme Court’s Employee Association condemned what it termed as “false, fabricated and baseless allegations” against Gogoi. It said the court staff is firmly in support of Gogoi “to defeat the malicious attempt of external forces to target the Indian Judiciary”.