India is a patriarchal society, although there is a transition now. Women are now participating in fields where they were never expected to and are earning members of their family. But with this advancement, the question arises that are the women of our country safe enough? With the #MeToo movement still prevailing in our nation, the voices of women are no more unheard.
What happens when someone whom you look up to for justice is accused for being unjust? Shockingly, the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, was accused of sexual harassment by his female assistant. Since we are discussing about the Chief Justice of India, let me tell you who he is? We all know that the Supreme Court of India is the highest Judicial and the final court of appeal in our Constitution. So it is expected that the head of such an organization will be known for his fair verdict and righteousness.CJI is known as the Chief Justice of India and the head of Supreme Court.
The 35 year old woman wrote to 22 judges of the court on 19th April 2019 accusing the CJI. Such acts are termed as travesty of justice, an act of the legal system which is an insult to that system.
The woman has also accused that the CJI had made sexual advances on her at the latter’s residence office in the month of October as well. Two months later the woman was dismissed from her job. Taking a casual leave on one day from the job was one of the grounds of her dismissal. The woman has also accused that her husband and brother-in-law were relieved from their duty of head constables on the 28th of December 2018. In addition to this, the woman alleged that she was forced to apologize to the CJI’s wife and was made to rub her nose at the latter’s feet.
While the woman has accused CJI Ranjan with several allegations, the court retaliated by stating them absolutely false and denied them completely. Ironically, the bench constituted to look into this matter had Gogoi as its member.
Ranjan Gogoi, before becoming the CJI, was known for being outspoken and witty. Gogoi is the first north-eastern to become the Chief Justice of India. Some have also accused him of taking decisions in favor of the honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Now you all must be wondering as to whether we have a law to punish such offenders? Well there is one! The Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act 2013 was devised for the safety of Women and it states the following:
• It is mandatory for an organization having more than ten employees to have a committee to handle sexual harassment cases called the Vishakha Committee.
• The committee should contain two or three people from the organization and two outsiders, in a bid to provide justice.
• The core job of the committee is to investigate cases of sexual harassment at workplace and take necessary actions.
• By Workplace we mean any place of work and not just the office building. An outdoor office meeting, online conversations or even an interview for a company where you are not employed yet are all covered within this act.
• It’s the duty of the employer to provide the names of the chairperson and the members of the committee.
Just like a coin has two sides, there are several cases where at times men are framed and are falsely accused. We don’t know as to who is speaking the truth in the above mentioned case, but one thing is for sure that the one out of these two is actually suffering and something needs to be done to prevent such cases and ensure that from next time onwards the accused fears the law.
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