On verge of losing faith in justice delivery: CJI case complainant tells Supreme Court panel
The sacked apex court employee who had levelled sexual harassment allegations against the Chief Justice of India expressed her disappointment on Monday after a three-judge in-house committee cleared the top judge.
The following are excerpts from a statement she has issued through her advocate, Cheryl D’souza:
I, the woman complainant, a former SC employee, am highly disappointed and dejected to learn that the in-house committee “has found no substance” in my complaint and feel that gross injustice has been done to me as a woman citizen of India. I am now extremely scared and terrified because the in-house committee, despite having all material placed before them, appears to have given me no justice or protection and said nothing about the absolutely mala fide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family.
I and my family members remain vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack….
I am alarmed at the conclusion arrived at by the in-house committee as my accusation of sexual harassment at the workplace, and the consequent relentless victimisation and reprisals against me and my family, are substantiated by documents and are verifiable.
On 26.04.2019, I had joined proceedings of the in-house committee and from the very beginning expressed serious concerns and reservations that the manner in which the proceedings were being conducted would not mitigate the stark asymmetry of power between me and the CJI.
...I was not even supplied a copy of my statement as recorded by the committee until after I was forced to walk out from the proceedings on the 30th of April 2019.
…I do not even know whether the SHO (station house officer) who took me to the CJI’s residence to make me apologise to the CJI’s wife in a humiliating manner was called by the committee even though I had submitted a video recording of my interaction with him on that day.
I do not even know whether the call records of the CJI or the secretary-general were called for by the committee, which would substantiate some of the facts mentioned in my complaint.
Today, my worst fears have come true, and all hope of justice and redress from the committee has been shattered. In fact, the committee has announced that I will not even be provided a copy of the report, and so I have no way of comprehending the reasons and basis for the summary dismissal of my complaint of sexual harassment and victimisation….
I was already condemned by the CJI and his senior colleague in an extraordinary suo motu “hearing” which took place on the 20th of April 2019, where accusations were made upon my character and my truthfulness in my absence.
I will consult my lawyer and decide on the next steps. Today, I am on the verge of losing faith in the capacity of our system to deliver justice to the weak and vulnerable who are pitted against the powerful within the system itself.