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Procedural Impropriety Shown By CJI, Says SC Advocates On Record Association on Sexual Harassment Charges

The allegation of the ex-employee of the Supreme Court have to be dealt with as per the established procedure of law and law must be applied in each and every case uniformly, the association said in a resolution passed on Monday.

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Updated:April 22, 2019, 4:53 PM IST
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Procedural Impropriety Shown By CJI, Says SC Advocates On Record Association on Sexual Harassment Charges
File photo of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi (Image: Twitter)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA) on Monday expressed "deep reservation" against "procedural impropriety" shown by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in dealing with sexual harassment allegations against him and said the charges should be dealt with as per established procedure.

In a resolution passed on Monday, the top court lawyers' body said, "The allegation of the ex-employee of the Supreme Court have to be dealt with as per the established procedure of law and law must be applied in each and every case uniformly".

The SCAORA said that it strongly disapproves the manner in which the complaint was dealt with and seeks enquiry and action in the matter.

It sought appointment of a committee headed by full court of the apex court to impartially investigate and inquire into the allegations.

"It is therefore resolved that the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association strongly disapproves the manner in which the complaint was dealt with and seeks enquiry and action in the above matter and further seeks immediate appointment of a committee headed by full court of the Supreme Court to impartially investigate and inquire into the allegations made against the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and give independent finding into the matter," the resolution said.

The SCAORA is a body of lawyers which comprises advocates empowered by the apex court to file pleadings on behalf of parties in the top court.

Allegations of sexual harassment had cropped up against the CJI on Saturday prompting him to convene an urgent extraordinary hearing in which he asserted that the charges by a former apex court staffer were "unbelievable" and part of a conspiracy by some "bigger force" to "deactivate" the CJI's office.

As the allegations by the former woman staffer who had worked at Justice Gogoi's home office in Delhi and dating back to October stunned the judiciary, the CJI had said he would not stoop too low even to deny them.

The proceedings spanned over 30 minutes, witnessing Justice Gogoi refuting all the charges and expressing his anguish at the attack on his reputation as he also described this as a serious threat to independence of judiciary.

But when the judicial order came out, it was endorsed and passed by Justices Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna. This course of action, however, is certainly out of the ordinary.

The normal practice is that if a judge recuses from a hearing, he or she doesn't comment on the merit of the matter before him or her. Justice Gogoi might have felt his honour attacked but the question looms large if it was proper for him to use the judicial forum of the Supreme Court to refute the personal charges.

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