On Tuesday evening, the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi appointed the senior most judge of Supreme Court Justice S.A. Bopde to hold an in-house inquiry in the sexual harassment case against the CJI.
Justice Bopde told PTI that Chief Justice Gogoi has selected him as he is the senior most judge after the Chief Justice. He also said, “I decided to have Justice Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in seniority and Justice Banerjee as she is a woman judge," Justice Bobde said.
Sources said that a full court meeting of the judges took place till late evening on Tuesday and the formations of the panel is a result of the discussions of the meeting.
The panel is formed to examine in detail the sexual harassment allegations against Gogoi. A former employee from Gogoi's office had written a complaint with attached affidavit to all the judges of the Supreme Court on 19 April. A special bench was constituted and held a special meeting on 20 April. The CJI while denying the allegations in the court had also said that it is a “threat to judiciary" and he is being targeted. Interestingly, the Chief Justice Gogoi had said on Saturday that other senior judges will examine this issue as he himself would not hear on this matter as the complaint is against him.
The CJI had also constituted a bench comprising of Justices Arun Misra, Rohintan Fali Nariman and Deepak Gupta to examine the case. The bench on Tuesday issued notice to the lawyer who claimed that he was offered ₹1.5 crore to hold a press conference to “frame" the CJI. The lawyer will appear in the court on Wednesday and his allegations in the affidavits will be heard.
(PTI contributed to the story.)