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Amidst heavy security outside the Supreme Court campus, a group of people held a protest against yesterday’s Supreme Court In-House Committee decision to clear Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of the sexual harassment allegations levelled against him.
Certain sections of lawyers and others called for protest outside Supreme Court in light of the procedure adopted by In-House Committee to probe into the allegations.
A few women have been detained by the police. Around 40 women protestors have been taken to Mandir Marg police station, sources suggest. The protestors were detained after they were asked to move to one of the designated protest spots in the capital.
Despite reports to the contrary, Delhi Police DCP Madhur Verma confirmed that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has not been invoked specifically for these protests. He clarified that Section 144 is already in place in areas of Central Delhi, as it is invoked every three months or so.
As per accounts from women detained at the police station, the police are being courteous but refusing to let them go. They were brought to the station on the pretext of verification, but so far no verification has happened. They continue to be detained at the station.
The three-judge committee constituted to probe the allegations of sexual harassment made by a former staffer had yesterday cleared CJI Gogoi. The committee has concluded that there is no substance in the allegations of the former employee of the Supreme Court.
Further, the report of the committee will not be made public since as per the 2003 judgment in Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India, the report of a committee constituted as part of the in-house procedure is not liable to be made public, the notice issued yesterday states.
In a response to the development, the complainant said that she was “highly disappointed and dejected”. A statement issued by her reads,
“I, the woman complainant, a former SC employee, am highly disappointed and dejected to learn that the In-House Committee “has found no substance” in my complaint and feel that gross injustice has been done to me as a woman citizen of India. I am now extremely scared and terrified because the In- House Committee, despite having all material placed before them, appears to have given me no justice or protection and said nothing about the absolutely malafide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family. I and my family members remain vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack.”
The complainant had earlier withdrawn from the proceedings expressing her anguish at the procedure being followed in the hearings, citing several reasons for doing so.