first_imgNews UpdatesGovt. Decides To Take No Action Against Mahua Moitra For Remarks Over Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK9 Feb 2021 10:29 PMShare This – xThe Central Government has decided to not take any action against Mahua Moitra, MP for Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha, following her explosive remarks against former CJI and MP Ranjan Gogoi. In her speech during discussion on motion of Thanks on President’s Address on Tuesday, Moitra brought up the sexual harassment allegations against Gogoi and criticized him for sitting over his…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Central Government has decided to not take any action against Mahua Moitra, MP for Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha, following her explosive remarks against former CJI and MP Ranjan Gogoi. In her speech during discussion on motion of Thanks on President’s Address on Tuesday, Moitra brought up the sexual harassment allegations against Gogoi and criticized him for sitting over his own case. Without naming the Judge, she said, “The sacred cow that was the judiciary is no longer sacred. It stopped being sacred the day a sitting chief justice of this country was accused of sexual harassment, presided over his own trial, cleared himself and then proceeded to accept a nomination to the Upper House of Parliament within three months of his retirement.” The remarks caused an uproar in the House with several members accusing her of violating Parliamentary privilege and demanding that the remarks be expunged. Responding to the remarks, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey read out Rule 352(5) of General Rules of Procedure of Rajya Sabha: “a member while speaking shall not reflect upon the conduct of a person in high authority, unless the discussion is based on a substantive motion drawn in proper items.” Delete It would be a privelege indeed if a breach of privelege motion is initiated against me for speaking the truth during India’s darkest hour— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) February 8, 2021 Later however, it was reported that the Government has decided not to take any action against Moitra by moving a breach of privilege motion as a former CJI is not ‘higher’ authority and thus, no rules were defied. Significantly, at the outset of her speech, Moitra had also claimed that this time the Government has neither the right to ‘shut her up’ or nor to try and get her remarks expunged from the records. Prof. Saugata Roy, AITC, had also claimed in the House that Moitra referred to a former Chief Justice who cannot be said to be a person in high authority. ‘She referred to a person who was the Chief Justice. If that man would be Chief Justice now, no mention could be made against him excepting by way of impeachment or excepting by way of a substantive motion. That man is a retired Chief Justice. He’s not the man in high authority. His name has not been mentioned. Not one word of what Mahua said should be expunged. I appeal to your good sense and fair play of Justice that don’t let this lady be stifled by the ruling party.’ The sexual harassment case In April 2019, a former junior court assistant at the Supreme Court accused then CJI Ranjan Gogoi of sexually harassing her. In a letter addressed to the Supreme Court judges, she complained that she and her family had been victimized for resisting the unwanted sexual advances of Justice Gogoi, when she was posted at his residence office in October 2018. She alleged that she was transferred thrice in matter of weeks and was falsely accused in a bribery case. Further, her husband who was a Head Constable with the Delhi Police was also suddenly transferred from the Crime Branch division. Following massive media reporting on the issue, a Special bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta registered suo moto case to deal with the matter of “great public importance touching upon the independence of the judiciary”. The special bench considered the sexual harassment case alongside allegations made by Advocate Utsav Bains that three disgruntled employees of the Supreme Court conspired along with corporate lobbyists to frame sexual harassment allegations against the CJI. Subsequently, the court appointed a committee headed by former SC judge Justice AK Patnaik to look into the alleged conspiracy theory. In June, 2019, the committee concluded that the matter warranted further inquiry, following which an In-House Panel of Judges constituted by Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana and Indira Banerjee, was appointed. However, Justice Ramana recused from the panel after the complainant alleged that he was a close friend to Justice Gogoi. She had also pointed out that the day her affidavit was sent to the Supreme Court judges, Justice Ramana, speaking in Hyderabad, had dismissed her allegations. Consequently, the panel was reconstituted and Justice Indu Malhotra replaced Justice Ramana. Nevertheless, the complainant withdrew from the proceedings stating that the atmosphere of the in-house committee was “frightening”. In a press release issued in that behalf, she said that she felt “intimidated” in the presence of three Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court. She also alleged that the inquiry was not being conducted fairly as she was not permitted to be represented by a lawyer. She had also mentioned that the witnesses of her case were staff of the Court and there was no likelihood of them being able to depose fearlessly before the committee. Further, she expressed dissatisfaction about the committee not addressing her demand to follow the procedure under the Vishakha guidelines and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Against Women at the Workplace Act 2013. After four sittings, the panel gave a clean chit to Justice Gogoi. As per the report submitted in May 2019, there was “no substance” in the allegations contained in the complaint. In a press release issued in that behalf, the Secretary General of the Supreme Court told that as per the decision in Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India, the report of committee constituted as a part of the in-House procedure was not liable to be made public and it had been submitted to next senior Judge competent to receive the report and also to the CJI. Moitra’s speech In her speech, Moitra accused the Government of suppressing dissenting voices, running propaganda and disinformation, and attempting to take over every State Government by muscle power. “Far too many of our fellow citizens today languish in jail or bear the burden of police harassment simply for asking questions of this government or chosing to voice an opinion on state of affairs of this country. This government has turned propaganda and disinformation into a cottage industry whose biggest success is the recasting of cowardice as courage,” she said. She also criticized the Government for “arbitrarily determining” Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, that too in the absence of any Rules for its proper implementation. Time To Make CAA Rules Extended : Centre Informs Lok Sabha Inter alia, she spoke against the Farm Laws and questioned the Government for not providing basic amenities, such as food, water and sanitation, to the protesting farmers.Next Storylast_img

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