A 35-year-old former court officer has made serious allegations against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi about sexual misconduct and harassment. In an affidavit she sent to all the judges of the Supreme Court (SC) she has provided a detailed account of allegedly being mistreated, removed from service, and later victimised, reports The Hindu.
The Secretary General of the SC has called the allegations 'completely and absolutely false and scurrilous and totally denied.'
The said court officer had served as a junior court assistant in the CJI's court for a short stint from October 2016 to October 2018 and the alleged incident took place on 11 October 2018 after which she was dismissed.
The secretary general has said that the woman was dismissed from service as per procedure. she is accused of accepting bribes after promising jobs to people at the apex court.
She had made another allegation in her affidavit which said that her brother-in-law who was appointed as a junior court attendant through the CJI’s discretionary quota on was also dismissed from service without reason. The secretary general stated that this person was only a temporary employee whose performance was found to be unsatisfactory.
She herself was arrested in the aforementioned case of bribery that was registered. Presently she is out on bail and claims that the case is fabricated.
Meanwhile, following the developments, SC had called an urgent hearing. A bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was set up to hear the case. During the hearing, the CJI called the allegations a "conspiracy to destabilise the office of the CJI". He noted how the allegations had been made at time when the apex court was about to hear "very very important cases."
"What troubles me is that after 20 years of service, I have a bank balance of Rs 6 lakh and Rs 40 lakh in PF. When I was a judge I had more. No one can catch me on money. They have to look for something else," said the CJI.
The bench has not passed any judicial order at this moment but has asked the media to show restraint.