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Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover have taken objection to victimisation for taking up the issue of sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
A press statement issued by Lawyers Collective, the organisation headed by the duo, states that a petition filed by one “Lawyers Voice” came up for hearing before the Bench of CJI Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta. The petition seeks criminal prosecution against Jaising and Grover. The Court issued notice in the matter today.
It is alleged in the press statement that this petition came to be listed before CJI Gogoi’s Bench today in contravention of the circulars and notifications of the Supreme Court with respect to the listing of matters.
The petition was filed on May 6 and its defects were cured on May 7. According to the Supreme Court Registry’s circular dated April 29, all fresh matters verified up until May 6 will be listed in the final causelist of May 10 based on chronological order. However, the petition by Lawyers Voice was listed today instead.
This amounts to victimization of Indira Jaising on account of her taking up the issue of sexual harassment allegations against CJI Gogoi in her personal capacity, the press statement claims. It further adds that CJI Gogoi should have recused himself from hearing the petition.
“Considering that Ms. Jaising has been publicly vocal on the issue of due process of law in relation to the conduct of the in-house inquiry, the Chief Justice ought to have recused himself from hearing the matter.”
The statement goes on to read,
“It has been brought to our knowledge that during the proceedings today, though the Petitioner’s advocate did not orally seek any interim orders, the Court has passed an order to the effect that the pendency of the petition will not come in the way of government agencies proceeding in the matter.”
The petition by Lawyers Voice reportedly touches upon the issue of “mis-utilisation of foreign funding” given to Lawyers Collective. The press statement goes on to clarify that Lawyers Collective has not received any foreign funding since 2016, when its FCRA registration was suspended by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Jaising and Grover have rejected any claims of mis-utilisation of funds by their organisation.
Read the Press statement: