Press Trust of india

Women among 55 protesters detained for staging protest outside SC

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New Delhi, May 7 :  Fifty-five protesters, mostly women lawyers and activists, were detained outside the Supreme Court here while they were agitating against the procedure adopted to deal with a sexual harassment case against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

Gogoi on Monday got a clean chit from the apex court's In-House Inquiry Committee which "has found no substance" in the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former woman employee of the Supreme Court.

Carrying banners which read - "No clean chit", "Supremacy of Rule of law must be maintained", "Be you ever so high, the law is above you", several women lawyers and activists staged a protest outside the Supreme Court raising objection to the clean chit given to Gogoi.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said, "There was heavy deployment of police around the area. Three men, including, fifty-two women protesters, were detained and taken to Mandir Marg police station," a senior police official said.

The three-member committee, which completed its task in 14 days, proceeded ex-parte as the woman had opted out of the inquiry on April 30 after participating for three days.

The complainant had on Monday said "gross injustice" has been done to her as a woman citizen of India and "worst fears" have come true, and all hope of justice and redress from the highest court of the land have been shattered.

SC in-house committee report clearing CJI should be made public: Ex-Info Comr

New Delhi, May 7:  Former Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu has advocated making public the report of the Supreme Court's in-house inquiry committee which looked into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the Chief Justice of India by a former woman employee of the apex court, saying the decision to withhold the finding "appears to have no reason or legal base".

"The people of this country are informed that the in-house committee of Supreme Court consisting of three judges has cleared Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment allegations raised by a former employee claiming 'no substance' in the complaint," he said.

According to the CJI and other dignitaries, there is a "larger conspiracy" behind this allegation, Acharyulu said.

"...public interest gives rise to a right of public to know and hence the report should have been made public after redacting the details if need not be disclosed, especially in complaints like sexual harassment," he said.

The three-member committee had on Monday given clean chit to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, saying it "found no substance" in the allegations. The apex court administration later said the report "is not liable to be made public", citing the verdict in the 2003 case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India.

Acharyulu said, "As per Indira Jaising order, the enquiry into Mysore incident was informal and only to gather some information from colleague judges, but in this case, it is a statutorily mandated inquiry and it is not opinion collection or information gathering."

The former Information Commissioner said the publication of the report, under any stretch of imagination, cannot impede the inquiry or prosecution or apprehension of any accused or any other person in this case and cannot be withheld from the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

"When a judgement given by the courts in a rape case could be made public without mentioning the name of the victim, with all details of examination of witnesses, and their cross examination, prohibiting the report of an internal inquiry committee appears to have no reason or legal base," he said.

Immediately after the office of apex court's Secretary General came out with the findings of the committee on Monday, the woman issued a press statement saying that she was "highly disappointed and dejected".

"The in-house committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19, 2019 of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India. Please take note that in case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India and Anr (2003), it has been held that the report of a committee constituted as a part of the In-House Procedure is not liable to be made public," the notice said.

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