The chief justice of India’s Supreme Court, Ranjan Gogoi, on Saturday denied allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances towards a junior court assistant who worked in an office at his home and that she was subsequently victimized.
“This is unbelievable,” Gogoi, India’s most powerful judge, told a special hearing of the court he called on Saturday so that the allegations could be addressed. “I should not stoop low even in denying it.”
Gogoi said the events showed that India’s judiciary was under “serious threat” and was being destabilized by a larger conspiracy, without elaborating.
“There is some bigger force behind the woman,” he said.
The allegations, dating from October, were carried in full by a number of major Indian online publications on Saturday.
The 35-year-old woman, whose identity has not been publicly disclosed, wrote a letter to all 22 of the Supreme Court judges along with an affidavit detailing her allegations on Friday.
Those included a series of allegations that the woman and her family were victimized by a series of related actions by the authorities, including the termination of her employment, and the suspension of her husband and his brother, who worked in the Delhi police force.
She also says another brother of her husband’s had his Supreme Court job terminated and she also faced a “false and frivolous” bribery complaint, leading to her arrest and subsequent bail.
“Me and my family’s victimization is a consequence of my not agreeing to the sexual advances made by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi,” she said in the letter to the judges.
Justice Arun Mishra, who joined Gogoi on the bench for the special hearing, said the allegations were “wild and baseless.”
The court asked the media to show restraint in covering the case to avoid undermining the reputation and independence of the judiciary, though it decided not to issue a gag order.
One in three UN employees have been sexually harassed, survey revealsA third of United Nations employees have reported experiencing sexual harassment at the world body over the last two years, according to the findings ... World News
India to put former top climate change official on trial for sexual harassmentAn Indian court has ordered the trial of sexual harassment charges against one of world's leading climate change experts, Rajendra K. Pachauri, his ... World News
India minister M.J.Akbar quits to fight sexual harassment allegationsIndian minister M.J.Akbar said on Wednesday he had resigned to fight allegations of sexual harassment levied by several women, the biggest scalp in ... World News
India’s #MeToo Movement: Will it carry on in 2019?What started essentially as a wake up call in Hollywood with many women coming out and sharing their stories of horror against Harvey Weinstein, found ... Middle East