CJI-led bench set up to hear sexual harassment allegations against him, order by 2 other judges
New Delhi, Apr 20 (PTI) A three-judge special bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was hurriedly constituted in the Supreme Court Saturday to deal with allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI, but as the hearing progressed, he opted out midway from passing any judicial order.
The CJI, against whom a former apex court staff levelled the allegations, left it to justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna to take a call on the issue of passing judicial order.
“I am not going to be a part of the judicial order. Justice Arun Mishra is the senior most judge available in Delhi and he will dictate the order,” the CJI orally said during the hearing.
In the nearly half-an-hour proceedings, CJI Gogoi made several remarks.
The notice issued by the apex court registry, that became public around 10:15 AM said, “Take note that a special bench consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna is being constituted to have a special sitting at 10:30 AM. Today, i.e. the 20th April, 2019 in the Chief Justice’s Court to deal with a matter of great public importance touching upon the independence of judiciary, on a mention being made by Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General.”
When contacted, Supreme Court Secretary General Sanjeev Sudhakar Kalgaonkar said the story come out in several news portals Saturday morning around 8-9 AM and they came to know about it at around 9-9:30 AM.
He said the matter was mentioned before the CJI by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and the court took it up.
On the query that the CJI’s name is not reflected in the order uploaded on the apex court website, Kalgaonkar said the CJI mentioned in the court whatever his lordship wanted to say and, thereafter it was taken over by the other two judges on the judicial side.
He also made it clear that the CJI is the “master of roster” and “whatever bench the lordship will constitute, the said bench will hear the matter” and it will listed for further hearing in due course.