The Supreme Court today issued a notice early morning to announce that a special bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna shall be constituted and hold a special sitting at 10:30 am in the Chief Justice's Court. According to the notice, the case that requires their immediate attention is one of great public importance and touches upon the independence of the judiciary. The case has been mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
At 10:30 am today the Solicitor General and Attorney General K K Venogopal appeared in Courtroom No.1. Chief Justice Gogoi stated that on 19 April evening he was contacted by four media houses over allegations made by a former member of his office staff. He stated that she had made some serious and baseless allegations against him.
The employee worked as a junior assistant in the Chief Justice's office in December 2018. She has submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging that she was sexually assaulted by the Chief Justice and her services were terminated arbitrarily. She further alleged that she had been facing harassment since the time her services had been terminated.
The Supreme Court Secretary General's office has denied all the allegations stating the motive behind them was 'obviously mischievous'.
Chief Justice Gogoi today stated that he did not want to stoop so low as to even deny such allegations. The former employee had criminal cases registered against her and that was the reason for her dismissal. He further stated that the termination of services was done in accordance with the procedures.
Chief Justice Gogoi also stated that the allegations seemed demeaning after his having serving selflessly for 20 years. He said that this office held high honour and people would be discouraged from becoming judges if this is how they could be targeted.
He firmly stated that the 'judiciary of the country is under serious threat.'
The Chief Justice has clarified that other senior judges will examine this issue as he will not hear the complaint against himself. No judicial order was passed by the bench. The bench has asked media houses to be responsible and wise while publishing the news so as to not affect the independence of the judiciary.