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2-min read

CJI Gogoi Hearing Own Sexual Harassment Case is 'Legally, Morally' Wrong: Ex-SC Judge Santosh Hegde

Hegde, however, said he does not want to comment on the allegations levelled against the CJI by a former Supreme Court employee as he does not know their 'correctness or otherwise.'

News18.com

Updated:April 23, 2019, 6:10 PM IST
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CJI Gogoi Hearing Own Sexual Harassment Case is 'Legally, Morally' Wrong: Ex-SC Judge Santosh Hegde
File photo of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi (Image: Twitter)
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Hyderabad: Former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde said on Tuesday Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi hearing a case involving sexual harassment allegations against him was "wholly wrong both in law and morality".

He, however, said he does not want to comment on the allegations levelled against the CJI by a former Supreme Court employee as he does not know their "correctness or otherwise."

"What the Chief Justice of India did was wholly wrong both in law and morality," Hegde, who had also served as Solicitor General of India and Advocate General of Karnataka, said.

".... the matter was being heard on a complaint filed by one of the parties... he (the CJI) presided over the bench, and look at the things he has done...he has nowhere in the records put that he is part of the bench.

He (the CJI) has participated in the dialogue there, he has not signed the order, two other judges have signed the order. What's the meaning of this?" he asked.

The former Karnataka Lokayukta said, "First of all, he could not have sat there.. what message is he sending? As Chief Justice of India can he sit in the bench and hear his own case? It's wholly wrong both legally and morally."

On Monday, the Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association (SCAORA) had also expressed “its deep reservation against procedural impropriety” shown by Justice Gogoi.

Similarly, the Supreme Court Bar Association also took exception to the way the CJI convened the emergency hearing.

Describing the allegations against him as "unbelievable", the CJI convened an extraordinary hearing at the Supreme Court on April 20 and said that a larger conspiracy was behind it and he would not stoop so low as to even deny the charges.

The apex court, which held the hearing for around 30 minutes, said independence of judiciary was under "very serious threat" and "unscrupulous allegations" of sexual harassment have been levelled against the CJI as some "bigger force" wanted to "deactivate" the office of the CJI.

Besides the CJI, the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, hinted towards a "bigger force" behind the controversy which has the potential to shake the faith of the public in the judicial system.

Though the CJI was heading the bench, he left it to Justice Mishra to take a call on passing a judicial order.

Dictating the order, Justice Mishra said, "Having considered the matter, we refrain from passing any judicial order at this moment, leaving it to the wisdom of the media to show restraint, act responsibly as is expected from them and accordingly decide what should or should not be published, as wild and scandalous allegations undermine and irreparably damage reputation and negate independence of judiciary."
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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