Law

Court Closes Cheating Case Against Woman Who Accused CJI Gogoi of Harassment

This cheating case only came into the limelight after the former Supreme Court employee made her accusations against the chief justice public.

New Delhi: Two weeks after the Delhi police filed its closure report in the cheating case against the former Supreme Court employee who accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, a Delhi court has closed the criminal proceedings.

The complainant in the case had reportedly told the police that he did not want take “any further legal action” against the woman.

According to the Indian Express, the chief metropolitan magistrate had accepted the police’s closure reported and asked the complainant, Naveen Kumar, to appear. According to the court’s order, on September 16 Kumar “stated (before the judge) that he is satisfied with the investigation conducted by the police in this case”.

“He (Kumar) also stated that he does not want to file any protest petition and therefore, the closure report may be accepted as he does not want to pursue the present case. Statement of complainant to that effect has been recorded,” the court stated.

“In view of the facts and circumstances, statement given by the complainant and the investigation conducted by the police in the present case, the Closure Report filed in the present case is hereby accepted. File be consigned to Record Room,” it continued.

The police had on March 10 this year arrested the woman in the case and sent her to judicial custody. Two days later, she was granted bail and on March 14, the investigation was transferred to the Crime Branch.

When the woman’s sexual harassment allegations were made public in April this year, CJI Gogoi – and the secretary-general of the Supreme Court, on his behalf – tried to discredit her by bringing up cases that had been filed against her and other members of her family.

Also read: The Gogoi Case and After: For the Sake of Justice, India’s Judiciary Needs Urgent Reform

The secretary-general said in his public response that the woman’s family had “criminal antecedents”. “There were previously 2 criminal cases which had been instituted against her i.e. (1) FIR No. 484/11, P.S. Hari Nagar u/s 324, 341, 354, 506 , 34 IPC; (2) DD No. 30A dated 05.03.2012 u/s 107/150, IPC, P.S. Hari Nagar, SEM Court, Moti Nagar,” the secretary-general said.

The day the allegations were reported in the media, CJI Gogoi also made remarks in open court about the charges against her, while calling the sexual harassment charges part of a larger plot to “deactivate” him. He publicly said then that the woman who has raised the allegations has two FIRs against her and that he has asked the Delhi police how she was able to enter the Supreme Court service with a pending criminal case.

The complainant in the cheating case against the woman, 31-year-old Naveen Kumar, had accused the woman of taking Rs 50,000 from him on the pretext of getting him a job at the Supreme Court. Following her bail being granted, he also wrote to the DCP (Crime Branch) claiming that the accused woman and her associates were threatening him.

This cheating case, however, only came into the limelight after the woman made her accusations against Gogoi public. An in-house committee of the Supreme Court, comprising three judges, was constituted to probe the matter. When it issued a notice to the woman employee, she suggested several measure to ensure a “fair and equal hearing”.

The following month, the in-house committee gave the CJI a clean chit, saying it “found no substance” in the woman’s allegations.

Later, the former woman employee of the Supreme Court stated that she felt “scared and dejected”, and could not comprehend why the report of the three-judge committee was not shared with her.

The Delhi police all this while tried to persuade the courts to cancel the bail of the woman in the cheating case. On September 6, a Delhi court ruled that it would not cancel her bail.