New Delhi: As questions continue to be raised on the clean chit awarded to CJI Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case, some lawyers have come up with a new way to register their protest.
Young lawyers from across India and abroad are snail-mailing copies of the sexual harassment Act to Supreme Court judges, as part of a campaign titled “May It Please Your Lordships”.
One of the participating lawyers told media portal SheThePeople that the idea came to them over a dinner conversation. “We were so enraged with the proceedings, to the extent that one of us stood up to say, “maybe they don’t know the procedure, may be they don’t know the Act”, and others responded saying “then let’s send them some copies!” the lawyer is quoted as saying.
Thus, consignments with the Bare Act (statute copy) of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, are now landing up at addresses of Supreme Court judges.
The Act lays down procedures to be followed in case of allegations of sexual harassment at workplaces, many of which have been violated for CJI Gogoi, the protesters claim.
On May 7, a day after CJI Gogoi was granted a clean chit by a SC in-house enquiry panel, women’s rights activists and lawyers had gathered at the Supreme Court premises to protest. They were packed off to a police station and around 50 of them were detained for over four hours. However, fresh protests were held on May 8, this time at Delhi’s Connaught Place.
On the same day, the woman who had made the allegations against the CJI demanded that a copy of the enquiry report be provided to her.
“I am shocked that despite my detailed affidavit, ample corroborative evidence and clear, consistent statement before the Committee reiterating my experience of sexual harassment and consequent victimisation the Committee has found “no substance” in my complaint and affidavit. I am shocked that Committee has come to an adverse finding against me despite the fact that I was compelled to withdraw from the Committee since the committee did not observe even the most basic principles of natural justice,” the woman claimed in her letter.