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Section 144 imposed outside SC, 55 detained as lawyers protest procedure to probe sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi

Delhi Police detained 55 lawyers and activists, mostly women, protesting outside the Supreme Court against the clean chit given to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday and CrPC Section 144 was imposed outside the apex court to prevent further escalation. The lawyers and activists were protesting the procedure adopted by the Supreme Court to probe into sexual harassment allegations against the CJI.

The protestors carried banners which read, "No clean chit", "Supremacy of Rule of law must be maintained", "Be you ever so high, the law is above you".

Protesters, assembled outside the court, tweeted that they are being moved to Mandi Marg police station, The Indian Express reported. Delhi Police PRO Madhur Verma confirmed that the women were detained because Section 144 CrPC is in place in Central Delhi. Verma claimed that the Delhi Police had initially asked the women to move the protest to Jantar Mantar. "There was heavy deployment of police around the area. Three men and fifty-two women protesters were detained and taken to Mandir Marg police station," he said.

The protests come after the three-judge panel constituted by the Supreme Court headed by Justice SA Bobde found "no substance" in the sexual harassment allegations levelled by a former apex court employee against Gogoi.

 Section 144 imposed outside SC, 55 detained as lawyers protest procedure to probe sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi

The in-house committee, comprising Justices SA Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra, completed the inquiry over four days. The accuser withdrew from the proceedings on the third day, 30 April, saying she was being denied access to a lawyer and was "not likely to get justice from this committee".

The complainant had on Monday said "gross injustice" has been done to her as a woman citizen of India and "worst fears" have come true, and all hope of justice and redress from the highest court of the land have been shattered.

After the office of the apex court's Secretary General came out with the findings of the committee, the woman issued a press statement saying that she was "highly disappointed and dejected".

On Monday, the in-house committee of the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the CJI. The verdict stated that it found "no substance in the allegations" made against CJI Ranjan Gogoi by a former female employee of the Supreme Court.

The statement issued by Secretary General of the Supreme Court, as posted on its website, also made it clear that as held in the Indira Jaising versus Registrar General Supreme Court of India and Anr case, the "report of a committee constituted as part of the in-house procedure is not liable to be made public".

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Updated Date: May 07, 2019 18:27:16 IST