CJI sexual harassment charge: AG says he wrote to SC for a ‘different’ panel
K.K. Venugopal says a media report’s claim that “serious differences” arose between him and the government after the letter was “untrue and baseless”.
Attorney General (AG) K.K. Venugopal, the Union government’s highest law officer, on Friday told The Hindu that he wrote to Supreme Court judges about his reservations on the constitution of the Justice S.A. Bobde Committee to examine the sexual harassment allegation against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
“I had written a letter for a committee different from the one that was constituted,” he said over the telephone. He wanted the committee to include an external member, he claimed.
Mr. Venugopal said a media report’s claim that “serious differences” arose between him and the government after the letter was “untrue and baseless”.
The Justice Bobde Committee, which gave a clean chit to the CJI, had Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee as its members.
They had proceeded ex-parte after the complainant, a former employee of the court, withdrew from the proceedings on April 30. The panel refused a lawyer or a support person for her. Its report is confidential and has not been shared with her. It found that there was “no substance” in her allegation.
Mr. Venugopal’s letter followed a communication reportedly by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that the woman ought to be represented by a lawyer, or the committee should appoint an amicus curiae.