Women MPs from the I.N.D.I.A bloc boycott ex CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s speech in Rajya Sabha
Gogoi was accused in a sexual harassment case by an employee in 2019
Women MPs from the INDIA bloc have boycotted the speech of former CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Monday, August 7, in the Rajya Sabha.
As the name of the Gogoi, who was accused in a sexual harassment case, was called to speak during a discussion on the Delhi services Bill several women MPs from the opposition parties including Samajawadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan and Shiv Sena (UBT) Priyanka Chaturvedi staged walk out.
TMC leader Sushmita Dev and Nationalist Congress Party Vandana Chavan have also walked out the speech of Gogoi in protest.
Gogoi who was participating in the debate in the upper house of Parliament for the first time, said, “What is pending before the Supreme Court is the validity of the ordinance, and the two questions referred to the Constitution bench, and that has nothing to do with what is being debated in the House”.
Defending the controversial Bill tabled by the Modi government, Gogoi added, “The law doesn’t appear to be arbitrary. In my respectful submission, the bill is perfectly valid.”
When asked, Gogoi clarified his locus standi and said, “...I am concerned as a nominated member not belonging to any political party, I am only concerned with whether the bill is constitutionally valid, and there I have made a speech saying that it is constitutionally valid....I didn't speak on the necessity (of the bill), I spoke on legality...”
Gogoi who pronounced the judgement on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri dispute case, had in 2019 faced charges of sexual misconduct from an ex-staffer in his office that brought back the spotlight on the #MeToo movement.
Gogoi had, however, denied all the allegations and claimed that was an attempt by a bigger force to “deactivate the office of the Chief Justice of India because sensitive matters [Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri dispute]” was to be heard by the court.
Following the allegations, the Supreme Court set up a committee to conduct an in-house inquiry into the charges of sexual harassment. The committee had given a clean chit to Gogoi, saying there was “no substance” in the accusations levelled by his former employee.