Women’s organisations carried out a silent protest on Monday after an in-house panel of the Supreme Court cleared Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment charges.
About 20 women from different streams of society covered their mouths with black gags in symbolic solidarity with a former employee of the Supreme Court who accused the CJI of sexual harassment. A committee of Justices S A Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra ruled on Monday that there was no substance in the allegations against the country’s top judge. It further said that its report was “not liable to be made public”. The report was not shared with the complainant either.
“The victim wasn’t even allowed a lawyer to represent herself. This is totally against the law. Tomorrow it can happen to any woman,” Tara Krishnaswamy, Co-founder, Political Shakti and Citizens For Bengaluru, told DH. People used various platforms to speak up against the clean chit. Social media was also flooded with angry posts. Kavita Krishnan, of All India Progressive Women’s Association, tweeted: “Shame. The in-house kangaroo court has predictably given Gogoi a ‘clean chit’ – minus the participation of the complainant herself. Only saving grace is that Justice Chandrachud’s timely voice has already shown that this proceeding had zero credibility even with a fellow SC judge.” Some users expressed dismay at the manner in which the allegations were dealt with.