Four female MPs walked out of Rajya Sabha on Monday to protest the maiden address of nominated member Ranjan Gogoi, who was accused of sexual harassment while serving as Chief Justice of India. Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party, Priyanka Chaturvedi of the Shiv Sena (UBT), Vandana Chavan of the NCP, and Sushmita Dev of the TMC were among the four women MPs who walked out of the Upper House in protest.
In 2019, Gogoi was accused of sexual misconduct by a former colleague in his office, which re-ignited the #MeToo movement, in which women from many walks of life spoke out about workplace sexual harassment. Gogoi had refuted the charges, alleging they were the result of a larger effort to “deactivate the office of the Chief Justice of India because sensitive matters” were to be heard by the court.
“There is a greater force at work here.” They want to deactivate the Chief Justice of India’s office since I will be hearing crucial cases next week. “The independence of the judiciary is under very serious threat, it is pathetic,” Gogoi stated during the April 2019 hearing.
The Supreme Court-appointed committee investigating sexual harassment allegations against Gogoi cleared him, finding “no substance” in the allegations brought by a former staffer in his office. Gogoi, on the other hand, came under fire for convening an emergency bench to hear the claims against himself and then convening an alternate bench that attacked the complainant’s reputation.
On Monday, Gogoi spoke in Rajya Sabha for the first time, supporting the contentious Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
“What is pending before the Supreme Court is the validity of the ordinance, as well as the two questions referred to the Constitution bench, and that has nothing to do with what is being debated in the House,” Gogoi explained.
“It does not appear that the law is arbitrary.” “In my humble opinion, the bill is perfectly valid,” he said.
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