NLU Topper Refuses Gold Medal To Protest SC's Handling Of Sexual Harassment Charges Against CJI

19 Aug 2019 1:03 PM GMT
NLU Topper Refuses Gold Medal To Protest SCs Handling Of Sexual Harassment Charges Against CJI

Law Topper from the National Law University, Delhi refused to receive Gold Medal at the hands of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.

It has been almost a year since the hundreds of working women took to social media to express their angst against workplace harassment. India’s MeToo, as the movement was called rocked even the judiciary when a woman alleged the CJI Ranjan Gogoi of unwelcome advances at her. The woman was transferred and later the charges were dismissed after an in-house administrative enquiry found ‘no substance’ in her claims.

The gold medalist, Surbhi Karwa, was in a moral dilemma when she heard she was going to get awarded by the CJI. As per Karwa, the institution which is at the helm of justice in India when itself was accused of sexual misconduct against a woman, failed the victim miserably.

The Indian Express quoted Karwa as saying, “Everything I learnt in the classroom put me in a moral quandary over the last few weeks on whether I should receive the award from CJI Gogoi. The institution he heads failed when sexual harassment allegations were made against him.”

Karwa specialises in Constitutional Law and asks a prominent question in her thesis, ‘Is the Constitution a feminist document?’ She was clear in her mind not to say no to the award itself but only register a protest against the person at the hands of which she would be awarded and thus she skipped the convocation ceremony.

Sexual Harassment Case Against CJI

On 19 April 2019, an unnamed woman formerly employed as a Junior Court Assistant at the apex court and later at the residence office of the CJI alleged in a sworn affidavit said that Justice Ranjan Gogoi made sexual advances towards her on October 10 and 11, 2018. Only a week prior to this alleged incident on October 3, Justice Gogoi swore in as the 46th Chief Justice of India.

The affidavit also claimed that she and her family have been victimized and persecuted after she rebuffed his (CJI’s) advances on October 11, 2019.

A three-judge Supreme Court panel comprising Justices SA Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee gave a clean chit to CJI Gogoi on Monday, stating that the committee found “no substance in the allegations”.

Also Read: Clean Chit To CJI Ranjan Gogoi In Sexual Harassment Case; Complainant Says She Is “Dejected And Terrified”

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Shubhendu Deshmukh

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Shubhendu, the quint essential news junky, the man who loves science and politics in equal measure and offers the complete contrast to it by being a fan of urdu poetry as well.

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