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Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CJI: Justice Chandrachud Suggests Inclusion Of External Member On Inquiry Panel

Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CJI: Justice Chandrachud Suggests Inclusion Of External Member On Inquiry Panel
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud has written a letter to Justice S.A. Bobde seeking the inclusion of a retired woman judge as an external member on the three-judge inquiry panel that was constituted by the CJI to probe the allegations levelled by the former court staffer, Indian Express reported.

As per the report, the letter “argues for the inclusion of an external member to broadbase the committee” and suggest names of three retired women Supreme Court judges to be included as external members i.e. Justices Ruma Pal, Sujata Manohar, and Ranjana Desai.

Justice Chandrachud, in his letter has also asked the probe panel comprising of Justice Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, to not proceed with the probe “ex parte” in the absence of the women complainant who had withdrawn from the proceedings on April 30, 2019, citing that she felt she was not likely to get justice from the in-house inquiry committee.

Quoting sources, the report said that "Justice Chandrachud's letter was "not an individual's view" but conveyed the sense of disquiet among judges of the apex court, as it was written after informal consultations with more than 17 judges.”

Further, the letter also urges the inquiry panel to remedy all the grievances raised by the woman complainant such as allowing her legal assistance by a lawyer.

In a similar report published by The Telegraph, it has been stated that Justice Chandrachud has also suggested that a respectable senior woman member of the Bar could also be considered as amicus curiae so that the top court's image as the ultimate dispenser of justice was not "dented".

Justice Chandrachud has met Justice Bobde on May 2, 2019, to discuss the contents of the letter, as per the Indian Express report. In the letter, Justice Chandrachud has also requested that a Full Court be convened to discuss the issues raised by him.


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