CJI case: ‘Shocked’ complainant seeks probe report copy

New Delhi, May 7 : A woman, who accused Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, on Tuesday asked the apex court’s in-house probe committee for a copy of the report giving a clean chit to the CJI on all charges.

“I have a right to know how, why and on what basis have Your Lordships found my complaint to have ‘no substance’,” the complainant said, adding she was “deeply shocked” on the outcome of the committee’s findings.

“Despite my detailed affidavit, ample corroborative evidence, and clear and consistent statement reiterating my experience of sexual harassment and consequent victimisation, the committee has found no substance in my complaint and affidavit,” she said.

The letter, addressed to the in-house committee comprising Justices S.A. Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra, could be construed as complainant’s official demand for a copy report of the committee.

She claims that if a copy of the report is handed over to the CJI, then it is her right to have report to learn about the reason behind the rejection of her complaint, and “depositions of any witnesses, any other persons or any other evidence considered by the committee”.

She termed the decision of not handing over the report to her “strange”. While notifying that the in-house committee had given a clean chit to the CJI in the matter on Monday, the Supreme Court’s Secretary General had communicated that committee’s findings would not be made public.

“From the beginning I have been treated as an outsider, I have not been informed of the procedure, I have not been informed of my basic rights and obligations with regard to the inquiry proceedings,” said the woman’s statement.

This decision has already come under a lot of fire and several women protested outside the apex court against the clean chit to the CJI in the alleged sexual harassment case.

The woman claimed that from the beginning there has been “lack of transparency in the functioning of the committee and great prejudice is being caused to me repeatedly”.

The complainant has asserted that she is also entitled to a copy of the report in the light of Section 13 of the anti-sexual harassment law of 2013.

“The sexual harassment of women at workplace act in Section 13 provides that both parties have a right to receive a copy of the report. Not providing a copy…would be a violation of the principles of natural justice and a complete travesty of justice,” she said in her statement.

The woman said the judgement cited by the apex court authorities for not handing over her the report was prior to the RTI Act.

“Even according to the full bench judgment of the Delhi High court in the assets disclosure case, such a report should be accessible to any citizen under the RTI. The full bench had held that even assets of judges would be accessible under RTI to any citizen,” she cited demanding a copy of the report.

(IANS)

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