• Sunday, Jun 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

India's chief judge faces sexual harassment storm

  • Published at 05:51 pm April 20th, 2019
Ranjan Gogoi-chief justice
Ranjan Gogoi, a Supreme Court judge, gestures as he addresses the media at a news conference in New Delhi, India January 12, 2018 Reuters

Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi said the accusations made by a 35-year-old junior court assistant were an attempt to stop him hearing important cases

India's most senior judge hit back Saturday at sexual harassment allegations made by a former Supreme Court employee, calling the accusations "unbelievable."

Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi said the accusations made by a 35-year-old junior court assistant were an attempt to stop him hearing important cases.   

The 64-year-old called a special session of the country's highest court and said it was below his dignity to deny the allegations, which he said were provoked by "bigger forces."

The woman wrote to 22 Supreme Court judges on Friday, alleging Gogoi twice made unwanted sexual advances against her in the office inside his official residence in October last year.

"He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine, and did not let go," she wrote in the affidavit seen by AFP.

The woman also claimed she was dismissed from her job and her family was subjected to harassment after she rebuffed Gogoi's advances.

She has called on the Supreme Court to set up a "special inquiry committee" to look into her affadavit.

"I have taken this unusual and extraordinary step of sitting in court today because things have gone too far," Gogoi said in response. "The judiciary can't be made a scapegoat."

The chief justice, who is due to retire in November this year, said he would continue his work "without any fear."

"There are forces that are trying to destabilise the judiciary... there are bigger forces behind these allegations hurled at me," he told the special hearing, adding that the woman had a criminal background.

The controversy came amid a mounting #MeToo movement in India that has seen several Bollywood directors, actors and media figures accused of sexual harassment.

A junior foreign minister was forced to resign last year after several women accused him of harassment.

The Supreme Court has 25 judges appointed by the president, including the chief justice.

One of the country's most respected institutions, the Supreme Court often rules on key policy matters and orders measures citing the public interest.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail