In a sworn affidavit, copies of which were sent to the residences of 22 Supreme Court judges yesterday, a former employee of the Supreme Court of India accused the chief justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, of sexual harassment and persecution. The former employee describes two incidents of molestation by Gogoi in her affidavit, both of which allegedly took place in October 2018, only days after he was appointed to India’s highest judicial office. After she refused his alleged sexual advances, the former employee writes, she and her family faced “consistent persecution,” including the loss of their jobs and subsequently, arrest and torture in police custody. “I say that the CJI has misused his position, office and authority and abused his clout and power to influence the police,” she writes. “I have been victimised for resisting and refusing the unwanted sexual advances of the CJI and my entire family has also been victimised and harassed due to that.”
Along with her affidavit, the former employee also sent the judges copies of video recordings of several incidents she refers to in the document—in particular, that a Delhi Police official accompanied her to the CJI’s residence in January this year, where she was asked to apologise to his wife. The videos also indicate that Rajnath Singh, the union home minister, and Amulya Patnaik, the commissioner of the Delhi Police, were made aware of the incident at least as early as 11 January 2019.
In the affidavit, the former employee describes how, in the months preceding his ascension to the post of CJI, Gogoi took a special interest in her professional and personal life, eventually transferring her to his residential office on Tees January Marg, where she was asked to work with him at close quarters. She writes that on two separate occasions, on consecutive days, the CJI touched her and embraced her against her will. During one such incident, “I was forced to push him away with my hands,” she states. The former employee further writes that Gogoi instructed her to not speak about the alleged incidents with anyone, and threatened her with dire consequences if she did so.