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Bar stands by CJI after lady alleges sexual misconduct

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi,Apr 21: The Bar Council of India on Saturday condemned the "false and cooked-up" sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and said the entire bar was standing with the CJI, and against this "attempt to malign the institution".

"These are all false and cooked-up allegations and we condemn these kinds of acts. These kind of allegations and actions should not be encouraged. This is an attempt to malign the institution. Entire bar is standing in solidarity with the Chief Justice of India," Manan Kumar Mishra, BCI chairperson, told PTI.

Bar stands by CJI after lady alleges sexual misconduct

He said an emergency meeting of the top bar body would be convened on Sunday and a resolution be passed in this regard.

Plea to cancel bail of lady who accused CJI of misconduct to be head on Apr 24

"We will pass the resolution and then try to meet the CJI to make him aware of the (BCI's) decision," Mishra said.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president and senior advocate Rakesh Khanna, who was present during the extraordinary hearing in the matter on Saturday, however, refused to comment.

"We are not part of the case...There is no lis (litigation) before the court. I am not giving any interview (on the controversy). Thank you," he said.

However, former SCBA president and senior advocate Vikas Singh said the proper course would be to have an in-house inquiry by some senior Supreme Court judges to authoritatively find out the truth "this way or that way" in a time-bound manner.

"If it is a false allegation then this definitely is a threat to independence of judiciary, but if it is true then it is also very serious," he said.

"There should be an in-house inquiry by some senior Supreme Court judges to find out authoritatively this way or that way in a time-bound manner," Singh told PTI.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Bar Association also condemned the allegations on the CJI and said it was an attempt to target top Indian judiciary and the entire bar stood in support of the CJI.

"We condemn this attempt of targeting Indian judiciary. There is an urgent need to find a better way of dealing with these kind of accusations. Such baseless allegations are enough to ruin the reputation of a judge...this way anyone can make any accusations against anyone," the NGT Bar Association's office-bearer Gaurav Kumar Bansal told PTI.

The Supreme Court in the hearing on Saturday said independence of judiciary was under "very serious threat" and "unscrupulous allegations" of sexual harassment have been levelled against CJI Gogoi as some "bigger force" wanted to "deactivate" the office of the CJI.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Gogoi was constituted to hold the unprecedented proceedings in the wake of circulation of an affidavit of a former woman apex court employee levelling allegations against the CJI. The affidavit was sent to 22 SC judges.

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