Prelims Level
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Prelims Syllabus : Impreachment procedure of the CJI. Mains Syllabus : Impreachment procedure of the CJI.

CONTEXT:

  • The Supreme Court on April 23, 2019 constituted a three-judge panel headed by Justice SA Bobde, the senior-most judge in apex court after the Chief Justice of India (CJI), to inquire into the sexual harassment complaint by a former junior court assistant against CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
  • Besides Justice SA Bobde, the inquiry panel comprises Justice NV Ramana, the next senior most judge, and Justice Indira Banerjee, who was elevated to the Supreme Court on August 7, 2018.

BACKGROUND

  • Following its constitution, the inquiry committee issued notices to the complainant and SC secretary general Sanjeev Kalgaonkar and asked them to be present during the first hearing of the complaint, which is scheduled for April 26.
  • The panel would be conducting an in-camera proceeding. It is expected to hear the complainant in person and analyze the evidence put forward by her.
  • The panel has asked SC secretary general Kalgaonkar to come with all records relating to the dismissed woman employee and her places of posting during her four-year employment in the apex court.
  • It will then seek the version of the CJI against whom the allegation is made and then come to its conclusion. The panel can even appoint a lawyer to assist them.
  • This is the first in-house inquiry on a sexual harassment complaint conducted in the Supreme Court and it is the first-ever time ever such an inquiry is being conducted against the CJI.
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