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The hearing in the suo motu case initiated following allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi (In Re: Matter Of Great Public Importance Touching Upon The Independence Of Judiciary ) is currently underway at the Supreme Court.
The matter is posted before a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta.
After reports of the allegations first broke last Saturday, a Special Bench was immediately convened to look into the matter of grave public importance touching upon the independence of the judiciary. This Special Bench had comprised CJI Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, However, the Court order passed that day did not reflect the name of CJI Gogoi.
Subsequently, the present Bench was constituted to take up the matter. Yesterday, the Bench decided to summon Advocate Utsav Bains before the Court, to hear him on certain averments made by him claiming that there is a conspiracy to frame CJI Gogoi. Bain has filed an affidavit to this effect before the Supreme Court.
In the meanwhile, reports surfaced yesterday that a Special Panel of Judges has been constituted to look into the sexual harassment allegations against CJI Gogoi. This Panel is headed by Justice SA Bobde, who is in line to become the next Chief Justice of India. The other members are Justices NV Ramana and Indira Banerjee.
Live updates of today’s hearing before Justices Mishra, Nariman and Gupta follow:
CJI Gogoi has been accused of sexual assault by a former officer who worked as a junior assistant at the Supreme Court between May 2014 and December 2018. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the former Court officer has alleged that following the sexual assault incident, she was unceremoniously terminated from her post. Moreover, she alleges that a trail of harassment has followed since her termination, culminating in a frivolous FIR filed in March this year against herself and her family.
All the allegations have been denied by the Supreme Court Secretary General’s office. The response also asserts that the motive behind the “false and scurrilous allegations” is “obviously mischievous.”