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1-min read

Justice NV Ramana Exits Panel Probing Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CJI Ranjan Gogoi

The complainant had on Wednesday objected to his presence on the panel and had claimed that he was a "close friend of the CJI and like a family member to him" and used to frequently visit his residence.

News18.com

Updated:April 25, 2019, 5:40 PM IST
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Justice NV Ramana Exits Panel Probing Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CJI Ranjan Gogoi
File photo of Justice NV Ramana.
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New Delhi: Justice NV Ramana has recused himself from the three-member panel constituted for an in-house inquiry into the sexual harassment charges levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi by a former Supreme Court staffer.

The complainant had on Wednesday objected to his presence on the panel and had claimed that he was a "close friend of the CJI and like a family member to him" and used to frequently visit his residence.

She had also pointed out that on April 20, the day her affidavit was sent to the 22 Supreme Court judges, Justice Ramana had dismissed her allegations while speaking in Hyderabad.

The panel, according to reports, will be reconstituted by Thursday evening by including a new SC judge into the committee.

The woman staffer who has accused the CJI stated that the inquiry committee constituted by the SC does not have majority woman members and an external member as mandated by the law under Visakha guidelines and the POSH Act.

It remains to be seen whether the new panel would meet these contentions raised by the former junior court assistant.

The in-house inquiry panel is separate to the three-member bench that has been conducting a daily hearing to verify if the allegations against the CJI is part of a "larger conspiracy" to frame him by "bench fixers and disgruntled employees".

A three-judge bench led by Justice Arun Mishra has appointed former SC judge, Justice AK Patnaik, to probe the conspiracy angle.

The in-house panel was formed on Tuesday after a meeting of the full court, attended by all judges except the Chief Justice. Justice SA Bobde - next in seniority to Justice Gogoi - had picked the members. He will head the panel that also includes Justice Indira Banerjee.

"I picked Justice Ramana because he is next to me in seniority and Justice Banerjee because she is a woman judge," Justice Bobde had said.

The former employee of the top court had made the allegations last week in an affidavit sent to 22 judges of the top court.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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