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The Supreme Court has reinstated the woman staffer who had levelled serious allegations of sexual harassment by the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, last April.

As per news reports, she has resumed work as a junior court assistant and taken leave; her past arrears have been cleared.

The In-House Committee, comprising Justices S.A. Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, had found the allegations baseless after the woman withdrew from the inquest, citing lack of a support person in an intimidating room full of judges, lack of fairness, and non-recording of the in-house proceedings. Justice Indu Malhotra had replaced Justice NV Ramana after the staffer expressed her doubts on Justice Ramana’s fair sense, as he was close to Justice Gogoi.

The report of the In-House Committee was, however, never made public as the same did not warrant public knowledge as per rules.

It was her allegation that following her refusal to the CJI’s inappropriate advances in October 2018, she was transferred and shortly thereafter, terminated from service.

A bench led by then CJI Ranjan Gogoi was convened after the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the receipt of emails from four media houses requiring a response on the representation of the staffer received by the apex court judges, following which the CJI recused in the matter. The order — signed by the remaining judges, Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna — asked media houses to exercise restraint in reporting the matter which could undermine the reputation and negate the independence of judiciary.

— India Legal Bureau

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