Section 144 against unlawful entry was imposed outside the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday after the Left, lawyers and women activists congregated to protest a day after the apex court's in-house inquiry committee found 'no substance in the allegations' levelled against the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.
Placard demonstrators had gathered to voice their views against the procedure adopted by the in-house panel of 3 top court judges. However the police attempted to disband the protesters along with journalists covering the proceedings They were released soon after.
After imposing Section 144 that confers a magistrate with power to prohibit a gathering of over five people in the around, security was beefed up around the Apex Court.
CPI leader Brinda Karat backed the protest stating that the procedure seemed "totally unjust" and questioned the lack of support for the victim from the committee.
She said, "If the highest in the land, who there are complaints against, get clean chits after a procedure which seems totally unjust. I think the issues raised by Justice Chandrachud are very very valid. Why cannot the victim have a support before the committee?"
The committee headed by Justice S A Bobde had submitted the report ex-parte as the complainant had opted out of the inquiry on April 30 after participating for three days.
The report said: "The In-House Committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19, 2019 of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India. Please take note that in case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India and others, it has been held that the report of a committee constituted as a part of the In-House Procedure is not liable to be made public."
It added: "The In House Committee has submitted its report dated May 5, 2019, in accordance with the in-house procedure, to the next senior judge competent to receive the report and also sent a copy to the judge concerned, namely, the CJI."
The three-member panel was constituted on April 23, 2019 in which the original members were Justices Bobde, Ramana and Banerjee.
However, on April 25, Justice Ramana had to recuse himself after the complainant expressed her reservations over his inclusion on the ground that he is a close friend of the CJI and a regular visitor to his house.
The allegations against the CJI had become public on April 20 when some news web portals had come out with the stories.
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