Shocked to see CJI's image being maligned: PM Modi to WION

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India May 09, 2019, 09.28 PM(IST) Written By: Sudhir Chaudhary

File photo: PM Modi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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'I am shocked to see that even the people sitting in top position can be attacked and maligned like this,' PM Modi told WION Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over the sexual harassment allegations levelled against Chief Justice of India (CJI), Ranjan Gogoi. The PM said he is shocked to see the country's top position being maligned like this.

"I saw the allegations levelled against the Chief Justice of India, and the clean chit given to him by Supreme Court's in-house committee. I am seeing all this in the media because it's a secret report and I have not seen it. But I am shocked to see that even the people sitting in top position can be attacked and maligned like this," PM Modi told WION Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary.

A woman staffer (an entry-level cleric), who worked at the Supreme Court, accused the CJI of sexually harassing her. An in-house committee was formed to look into the issue and it gave clean chit to CJI Gogoi, who appeared before the panel on May 1.

Sources later said that the complaint was part of a conspiracy to malign the image of the CJI. The woman staffer worked as junior court assistant for around seven weeks and during this period, had no occasion to meet the CJI, said sources. They also said that the woman never said anything about the alleged sexual harassment when she was arrested in connection with taking a bribe in the name of providing employment in the Supreme Court.

The sources further added that the conspiracy was hatched because the CJI's bench handled several high profile cases such as the Rafale case, the Ayodhya case, the case of CBI Director's appointment as also sub-judice cases such as contempt case against Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other constitutional matters which did not go well with certain quarters.

They also questioned why the complainant is skipping participation in the procedural inquiries repeatedly. "She participated in the proceedings for three days and when she was supposed to answer the queries about an unexplained delay of more than six months, she concocted reasons to walk out," sources said.

The in-house committee led by Justice SA Bobde had on Monday given a clean chit to CJI Gogoi in the sexual harassment case. The committee also comprises Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee said it found no substance in the sexual harassment allegations against the CJI.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) had earlier said that there was "something fishy" in the sexual harassment allegations levelled by her against CJI Gogoi. In a statement directed to members of legal fraternity, judges and people of the country, the BCI claimed that there was some very strong support behind the complaint against the CJI.