Jurist: Suppression of enquiry report on CJI dented credibility of judicial system
Suppression of the In-House Inquiry Committee report giving clean chit to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on allegations of sexual harassment has dented the “prestige, credibility and integrity” of the judicial system, noted jurist Rakesh Dwivedi said on Tuesday.
The senior lawyer, who had earlier advocated “impartial enquiry” into the allegations, made scathing observations on the inquiry proceedings and non-disclosure of the report saying “scrutiny by people is the hall mark of Justice”.
The CJI Monday got a clean chit from a three-member Inquiry Committee headed by Justice S A Bobde which found “no substance” in the allegations of a former woman employee of the apex court and further ruled that the report was not “liable to be made public”.
“It has been the trait of Monarchy, Imperialism, Dictatorships and Authoritarian Empires to shut out information and knowledge about what may supposedly impact them adversely so as to avoid scrutiny,” Dwivedi told.
“Why has our Highest Judiciary relapsed into this Monarchical and Dictatorial Scheme of dispensing justice by seeking refuge behind the smokescreen of informal in house enquiry at a time when the credibility of the Institution is at stake,” he said.
The apex court should undergo ‘Agni-Pariksha’ and share the report with the public for larger interest of the judiciary, the noted jurist said.
The CJI, the person complained against, would get to see the report but not the complainant, nor the nation, he quipped.
“Please do not shirk collective responsibility. Judicial power vests there. We look up for a responsible and democratic Judiciary. Please for God sake remove the blindfold from our eyes. Trust the people. People need Judiciary. They want its independence. They trust their judges. Do not betray their trust. You stand at the brink.”