Former Supreme Court Employee Alleges Sexual Harassment by Chief Justice Gogoi

In a complaint to all judges of the Supreme Court, a former junior court assistant, now battling a criminal case, has detailed how her life has literally fallen apart since the alleged incident took place. The Supreme Court secretary general, however, has dismissed the charge as false and baseless.

New Delhi: A former employee of the Supreme Court has made allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi in an affidavit that she has sent to all the judges of the court.

The affidavit, sent on April 19, 2019, also provides a chilling, Kafkaesque account of the apparent victimisation she, her husband and their family have undergone over the past few months – ever since she spurned what she claimed were inappropriate advances last October.

“I am requesting the Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court to constitute a special enquiry committee of senior retired judges of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to enquire into these charges of sexual harassment and consequent victimisation,” she wrote.

The secretary general of the Supreme Court, in a common email sent to reporters who had contacted Justice Gogoi to get his response to the former employee’s charges, said the allegations by the woman – who served as a junior court assistant in Justice Gogoi’s court for two years, from October, 2016 to October, 2018 – were “completely and absolutely false and scurrilous and are totally denied.”

The alleged incidents of harassment happened on October 10 and 11, 2018. The woman has since been dismissed from service and seen her whole life fall apart.

First, her husband and one of her brothers-in-law – both employed with the Delhi police – were suspended on allegedly frivolous grounds.

Next, another brother-in-law who was appointed as a junior court attendant through the CJI’s discretionary quota on October 10, 2018 – a week after Gogoi became the CJI – was also dismissed from service without reason.

Finally, she herself was arrested in a case of bribery that was registered in March 2019 – almost three months after her dismissal from the Supreme Court. The bribery case was recently shifted to the Crime Branch, which has now moved the Patiala House court to cancel her bail. A decision on her bail is expected Wednesday.

While the charge of bribery has been made against the woman, there is no charge against the alleged bribe-giver, who is the complainant. The woman, who is currently out on bail, claims that the case is fabricated, and the complainant too, when contacted by reporters, indicated he was not keen to pursue the matter.

From a junior court employee to Justice Gogoi’s core team

In her affidavit, a copy of which is with The Wire, the 35-year-old woman listed her detailed occupational history. An employee at the Supreme Court, her role involved “typing and documentation” in the legislation section of the court’s library. During court hours, she said, she was sent to help court masters in “arranging books/judgments” required for different cases.

In 2015, she was posted in Justice Vikramjit Sen’s court for around “8-10 months”. In October 2016, she was sent to Justice Gogoi’s court to fill in for another junior court assistant who had gone on leave. She said that her performance was appreciated during this period and that her appraisal reports were rated “good” and “very good” for the years 2014-15 and 2015-16. She has attached her annual confidential reports with the affidavit.

The cover letter of the affidavit.

In the period between October 2016 and August 2018, the woman claimed that Justice Gogoi had become fond of her work and trusted her. She felt privileged as she was only a junior employee and yet was accorded such importance by a senior judge. She said that Justice Gogoi often spoke very highly about her work and also praised her abilities in front of her husband.

Since 2015, she had also been pursuing her law degree from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. When Justice Gogoi came to know about her degree, he started to give her more important tasks. She said that he asked her to prepare case briefs, and that it was a matter of privilege for a junior court assistant (JCA) to be given such a task.

The woman, whose name The Wire is withholding, said that Justice Gogoi often called her to his chamber for work of one kind or another and frequently enquired about her family and daughter.

“During these conversations about my family, he used to ask about the other members of my family, and on one occasion I shared with him that my husband was conservative and felt that I shouldn’t be working but that I was very keen to pursue my career,” she said.  

From noting down his instructions to preparing a “Hindi film song list” to be played at a lunch party, she said she did whatever Justice Gogoi asked for, like a devoted employee.

She asserted in her affidavit that the judge called her for exclusive events. She said that he invited her and her husband to attend Nobel winner Kailash Satyarthi’s book launch in June 2018 at the Constitution Club, New Delhi, where he was going to be speaking. When she expressed her reluctance as her LLB final semester exam the same day, he insisted that they come.

“…he told me that there would be a lot of important people, that I should get out of my comfort zone of the court and be a bit more social… On his insistence, I could not refuse and so me and my husband attended the event after finishing giving my exam,” she said.

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She claimed that she was among two employees with whom Justice Gogoi had shared his private phone numbers.

The woman said that Justice Gogoi would call and text her multiple times during the day for work – “during non court hours and even during the late evenings” when she was at home.

In August, 2018, Justice Gogoi, she said, expressed his wish to appoint her in his residence office as his workload would increase once he took over as the CJI in October. He told her that the reason he was appointing her at his residence was her good work, although she was a junior employee.

The former JCA said that Justice Gogoi met her immediate boss at the library section, B.A. Rao, to inform him about her imminent transfer. He then asked her to get in touch with H.K. Juneja, the private personal secretary of Justice Gogoi. Juneja briefed her on her role at the residence office and instructed her not to discuss work-related matters with even her husband as the work would be of “an extremely confidential nature”.

She added that Juneja told her that she was the “youngest employee to be appointed in this post” and that she should feel privileged.

How matters blew up at the residence office

The former JCA started her work at Justice Gogoi’s residence office from August 11, 2018. There, she said that she first started feeling a little awkward at all the exclusive attention she got from him but ignored her misgivings.

She said that, although in the beginning of her stint, her work timings were from 10 am to 5 pm, she was asked to come at around 8 am, before Justice Gogoi left for court, and was required to leave only after he returned.

The woman said in her affidavit that one of the staff members once told her that now that she had been “transferred to the residence office, Justice Gogoi was leaving his Supreme Court chamber early.”

She claimed that one day Justice Gogoi asked her to wish him “Good Morning” over WhatsApp every morning, and send him a text once she reaches home every evening. “On being told this, I felt it was a bit strange. But I was very junior, I had never interacted with a judge before this, and I told myself that maybe this was normal. Until that point, I had never had any direct interaction with a judge. We were all told not to even look at a judge while working in the Court.”

He would then often call her on WhatsApp and discuss both professional and personal matters. But, she said, things became more awkward when he asked her to delete all his messages. On many occasions, she said “…he would call me into his office room, make me show him my phone and make me delete the WhatsApp messages between us.”

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One day, she said, Justice Gogoi told her that she was one of his three assets, the other two being his wife and his daughter. When he had to take his oath as the CJI, he apparently told her that she was the third person he will be inviting after his wife and mother. Both she and her husband attended the swearing-in ceremony.

The former JCA claimed in her affidavit that he would repeatedly tell her that once he became the CJI, he would be in “a position to help her.”

“I expressed my gratitude but politely told him that we were very comfortable with our present accommodation. I told him that my family was reasonably well off and comfortable, that my husband and his brothers had government jobs. During the course of this conversation I mentioned that only my younger brother-in-law was unable to find a job as he was disabled, Justice Gogoi then assured me that once he became the Chief Justice of India he would have the power to make appointments to the Supreme Court registry staff through the Chief Justice’s discretionary quota and he would see what he could do,” the former JCA said in her affidavit.

Soon after his appointment as the CJI on October 3, 2018, she claimed, Justice Gogoi got her disabled brother-in-law appointed to the post of junior court attendant. His appointment letter dated October 9, 2018 is also annexed in her affidavit.

Allegation of sexual harassment

On the morning of October 10, the affidavit says, Justice Gogoi called her to his office and told her that her brother-in-law had been appointed despite being “found to be medically unfit as traces of blood were detected in his urine test.” The Wire tried reaching Dr. Shyama Gupta, chief medical officer of the Supreme Court, to verify the claim. However, no one at her office picked up the calls.

The woman told Justice Gogoi that she was really grateful for what he did for her. The judge went on to compliment her on her looks and then, she alleges, touched her in a way that made her uncomfortable.

Here is a portion from her description in her affidavit:

Though I usually wear a uniform of black and white clothing, on that day since it was the first day of Navratri, I had worn an orange kurta and dupatta. The CJI referring to my clothes, told me, “You are looking pretty good today.” The CJI asked me to come and stand next to him, he got up from his chair. The CJI then asked me, “What can you do for me?”, I kept repeating that I was very grateful and that everybody in my family was very happy. The CJI then slid his hand from the back of my head, along my back to my hipline, till my lower back. I immediately froze and my body stiffened. I think the CJI sensed this, and so he immediately pulled both my cheeks, like one would do to a child. He told me that he is like this with his daughter too.”

After this, she alleged that Justice Gogoi asked her to write down in a notebook what she could do for him.

The very next day, she said, her trauma began. The CJI once again brought up the topic of her brother-in-law’s appointment and asked what she could do for him.

She described the incident on 11 October as follows:

CJI said your whole family must be very happy. He told me that “If you put on some weight you will look good…”. The CJI once again asked me, “So, what can you do for me”. He asked me whether I have written anything down, I showed him a notepad on which I had written how grateful I was…The CJI read the note. He then got up from his chair and walked across and came and stood to my left. Since he was standing I too stood up as I could not continue sitting when the CJI is standing. He took my notepad from my hands and put it aside on the desk, he then took my hands into his and told me that my hands smell nice, he then pinched my cheeks, he then put his arms around my waist from the front, he said, “I want this from you”. When I had stood up I had put my hands behind my back. He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine, and did not let go. He told me “hold me”, he did not let go of me despite the fact that I froze and tried to get out of his embrace by stiffening and moving my body away. Since he did not stop forcibly hugging me, I was forced to push him away from me with my hands. When I pushed him away, he hit his head against a book shelf/cabinet on my left. My first thought was why would the CJI think he can do something like this to me. I immediately left the room and was in a state of complete shock and was unable to think clearly after this. I sat at my desk.”

Victimisation alleged

She was still recovering from the shock when, she alleges, Justice Gogoi called her to his office and said, “Jo yahan hua hai (whatever happened here), you will not share with anybody”. He told me that if I disclosed anything to anybody, my family would be greatly disturbed.”

Then, she alleged that Justice Gogoi asked her to write a statement on a notepad that pinned the blame on her. “Then he told me, write down that you will not disclose. I had a piece of paper and pencil, in my hand, my hands were trembling, I wrote down what he dictated which was something like “I will not harm your dignity. Can you hold me”. I was extremely scared, I knew what he was dictating was wrong, and that he was making it appear that it was me who tried to hold him. However, I was so scared and shocked that I wrote whatever he dictated.”

That evening, she says, she received several calls from one “Mr. Badar” of the Administration Department of the SC and one “Mr. Mathani”, the secretary-general of SC. Both asked whether everything was fine between her and her husband.

She goes on to say that once she gathered herself from the shock, she called Justice Gogoi that evening to let him know that she did not wish to work with him anymore. However, Justice Gogoi did not answer his phone. She said that he got Juneja to call and tell her not to “disturb Justice Gogoi at night”, although the two often spoke to each other beyond work hours.

She said that she got to know later from her neighbours that the “SHO (Station House Officer), Tilak Marg called Yashpal, the colony president” to know “whether things were stable” between the “mian biwi (husband-wife)”.

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Yashpal corroborated this claim to reporters. “Un mein toh koi ladai jhagda nahin tha, bata diya tha maine SHO saab ko. (They were not fighting, I had told this to SHO)”, Yashpal Singh said. Singh who was president of the police colony, Tilak Nagar, where the former JCA and her family live, is currently posted at the Indira Gandhi International Airport police station.

He said that the SHO, Tilak Nagar had called, and not the SHO, Tilak Marg as the affidavit claimed. However, he said that the SHO enquired about a former case that the family was involved in.

He said that there was a tussle between her father-in-law and another police official Kiran Bala over who should get first preference in some electrical work both needed to get done in their houses. Kiran Bala later filed a case against the family.

He said that both families later worked out a compromise and the matter was resolved. He added that Kiran Bala has now moved out of the Tilak Nagar police colony.

Finally, dismissal

From October 12 onwards, the former JCA claimed that Justice Gogoi’s behaviour changed. He restrained his interactions with her and often spoke to her in front of other people. She said she was in extreme stress and although she did not want to work with Justice Gogoi anymore, she could not muster enough courage to express her wish at office.

She claimed that she was transferred thrice in a matter of weeks – first on October 22, 2018 to the Centre for Research and Planning (CRP), then to the Admin Material Section, and finally to the Library on November 22, 2018..

On November 19, however, she was issued a memorandum that a disciplinary enquiry was being initiated against her.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in Tirupati on Friday. Credit: PTI

She faced three charges. One, that she showed “reluctance and questioned the decision of senior officers” when she was asked to sit in the Admin Materials section. Two, that she tried to “bring influence” from “unacceptable quarters” to exert pressure on her supervisors who changed her seat. Three, that she “unauthorisedly absented herself from duty” on November 17 and showed “insubordination, indiscipline and lack of devotion to duty”.

The woman has annexed the documents related to the disciplinary proceedings in the affidavit.

Her documents show that her request for a defence assistant in the inquiry was refused. She had wanted Laxman Singh Negi, senior secretariat assistant in the Rajya Sabha secretariat, to help her in the departmental enquiry. Negi told reporters that her request was turned down and that she told him that only a person from the SC registry could be her defence assistant. He, however, said that the conduct rules permit a government employee to defend a fellow employee in such cases.

She was served a notice by the registrar and inquiry officer Surya Pratap Singh that proceedings of her inquiry would happen at 10.30 a.m on December 13, 2018. And that if she fails to appear at the “appointed time and place, inquiry shall proceed ex parte.”

The woman then gave her reply saying that she had no intention to influence her boss and that she had only casually discussed her anxiety with B.A. Rao only because she had worked with him before. And that she had no idea that Rao would call her current supervisor. She said that she only wanted to know from Rao what wrong she had done.

She also said that she was unwilling to change her seat as she was anxious about being frequently transferred and had no intention to defy the supervisor’s orders.

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She apologised for remaining absent from duty on November 17 but said that she had to attend a function at her daughter’s school. For that, she had already applied for a casual leave a day ago. In fact, when her supervisor asked her to report for work after the function, she had agreed. However, since the function ended late, and her husband was not at home, she said she was forced to look after her daughter. She had informed her supervisor regarding the same. Since she thought that November 17 was a half-day (Saturday), her not being able to make it to work would be fine with her supervisor.

The former JCA says in her affidavit that she fainted at the Supreme Court’s premises and thus could not attend the inquiry proceedings. Four days later, on December 21, she was dismissed from service by registrar Deepak Jain after the inquiry committee conducted ex parte proceedings and found her guilty in all three charges on the basis of two witnesses – one, her supervisor Padma Sundar, and assistant registrar Indira Manuja.

The former JCA insists she was present at the court on the day of inquiry but could not attend the proceedings as she fainted right outside the room of the enquiry officer Surya Pratap Singh and had to be taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. She also claimed that she had informed Singh’s peon about her presence. She has annexed her SC entry pass at 10.19 a.m to the affidavit.

“By 10:25 a.m. I was sitting outside the room of the enquiry officer and I sent word to him through the peon that I had arrived. I was very distraught and nervous and began crying and when I was waiting in the gallery, outside the enquiry office, a peon brought me some water. After that I fainted. I later learnt that I had been taken from the Supreme Court to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital by some members of the staff of the court. My medical report at RML hospital shows that I was brought there unconscious by the staff.”

Her affidavit includes her hospital papers from the same say. The RML hospital report says that she was brought to the emergency ward by court staff after she was found lying unconscious on the floor.

Her family in a soup

Her victimisation, she said, did not end there. A week after she was dismissed, her husband and one of her brothers-in-law – also a constable in Delhi police – were suspended from service on December 29, 2018. The reason was not specified at the time.

On hearing this, her husband called Juneja to fix a meeting with the CJI to plead forgiveness. Juneja denied any knowledge of his problems. He also sent a text to him. Thereafter, Juneja blocked his number to prevent further calls.

On December 31, the husband was informed by Naresh Solanki, SHO, Tilak Marg, that a complaint has been made against him for making unsolicited calls to the CJI’s office and that a departmental inquiry could be initiated against them.

However, on January 9, the husband received an order from the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vikas Puri. The order, according to her affidavit, stated, that the husband and his brother had “links with local gamblers and that he had approached SHO, Tilak Nagar, to allow satta activities of one person against whom a criminal case was already registered in PS Tilak Nagar.”

The order also mention a 2012 criminal case against her husband and her brother-in-law, even though the matter had been “ compounded” between the complainant and her husband brother-in-law..

Soon after their suspension, both men were transferred from one branch of the police (3rd battalion) to another (2nd Battalion) so that a joint departmental enquiry could be carried out against them.

The woman said that it is after this that Naresh Solanki, the SHO of Tilak Marg police station, tried to engineer a truce between her and the CJI. She said that Solanki, after discussion with her and her husband, took her to the CJI’s residence on the night of January 11, 2019. There, she claims, the CJI was unavailable and that his wife asked her to ‘seek forgiveness’. “In the presence of the SHO and Mr. Deepak Jain, Mrs. Gogoi told me “naak ragad ke jao (rub your nose on the ground)”. I do not know why Mrs. Gogoi was involved in this. But by this time I had realised that the CJI has concocted a false story about the sexual harassment incident,” she said in her affidavit, adding that since she only wanted to save herself, she obliged.

A copy of a surreptitiously recorded video showing a conversation between Solanki, the woman and her husband is with The Wire. The video shows Solanki trying to convince her to meet the CJI for a compromise and seek forgiveness.

Meanwhile, her younger brother-in-law, who was appointed as junior court attendant was also dismissed from his service. His termination letter, attached with the affidavit, does not specify any reason.

She said that she fell into depression for the next two months. But her troubles surfaced again on March 8, when the couple were visiting her husband’s native village in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. A Delhi police party arrived to take her into custody. According to the affidavit, on March 9, when she and her family went to Tilak Marg police station in Delhi, they were informed that one Naveen Kumar of Jhajjar, Haryana had charged them with bribery. The FIR says that Kumar paid her Rs 50,000 for a job in the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Credit: PTI/Shahbaz Khan

When she started to feel sick, the police allowed her to go to hospital with her brother-in-law. At around 2 am on the morning of March 10, she claimed, a police team led by Devender Kumar, the then SHO of Tilak Marg police station, brought the husband handcuffed. Then, the former JCA, her husband and and sister-in-law were all taken in a police van to Tilak Marg police station. CCTV footage of a police party taking the husband around handcuffed is available with The Wire.

The former JCA also claimed that her legs were tied with cuffs the whole night. And that her husband and sister-in-law were wrongfully detained as they had no case against them as the whole action was based on a complaint against her. She also said that they were taken to the police station from a gate which had no CCTV footage as the SHO knew that her sister-in-law and husband were illegally detained.

The JCA’s sister-in-law told reporters that both women were dragged by the police team led by SHO Devender Kumar on March 10 after midnight and taken to the Tilak Marg police station.

“The SHO did it personally… He pushed us, touching us on the hips. I said yeh koi tareeka nahi hai (This is not the right way)… how can you do this so late at night, how can you take ladies so late at night…He said ‘Wahan chalo wahan jaake batayenge (Come to the police station. We will tell you there),” she said.

The brother-in-law said that the SHO knew about his sister in law’s background as a court employee at CJI’s residence. He told reporters, “His (Devender Kumar’s) exact words, Tereko wahan pe kyun bheja hai, tu andar kamre mein kya karne gayi thi judge ke paas mein… Teri thi duty wahan, ghar pe tereko hi kyun bulaya usne. (Why did they send you there, why did you enter the judge’s room, for what? You were posted there. Why did he call only you to his home?)”

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On March 12, the former JCA got bail from the chief metropolitan magistrate court in Patiala House, New Delhi. However, strangely, the case was moved to the crime branch, which has now moved the court for cancellation of bail. The crime branch investigating officer, Mukesh Antil, in his appeal has said that Naveen Kumar, who allegedly gave Rs 50,000 to her, was being threatened by her family.

Asked why no case had been registered against Naveen for bribing a government official and whether he had any evidence that his family was being threatened, Antil declined to comment on the case. He said that reporters could contact higher officials for more information about the case.

Meanwhile, the former JCA has shot off appeals against her harassment to the Delhi Commission of Women, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal, the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Human Rights Commission, Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance), Special Commissioner of Police (Law & Order), Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Supreme Court’s response

While The Wire had emailed the CJI on Friday seeking his response to accusations the former JCA had made against him, the secretary-general of the Supreme Court, Sanjeev S. Kalgaonkar, replied in an email sent at 3:37 am on Saturday.

“The allegations regarding 11 October 2018, as well as other allegations as can be discerned from your emails, are completely and absolutely false and scurrilous and are totally denied,” the secretary-general said.

He said that the woman was “dismissed from service as per procedure” and did not elaborate on why ex parte inquiry proceedings were conducted against her, following which she was terminated.

He added that her brother-in-law was terminated as his “performance and conduct” were reported not to be satisfactory.

On why the Supreme Court had lodged a complaint against the woman’s husband on the basis of a mere phone call that he had made, he said, “It is not open to anyone to make unsolicited calls or uninvited approaches to the office of the Chief Justice of India, especially an employee who has already been dismissed, and who previously engaged in inappropriate conduct.”

He said that “the motive behind these false and scurrilous allegations is obviously mischievous”.

“…there is a criminal case pending against her, where very serious allegations have been made, of her having taken a bribe to assure employment in the Supreme Court of India. It has been learnt that there is an application for the cancellation of bail earlier granted to her, which is listed for hearing on 20.04.2019 on account of her having made threats to the complainant of the said case.”

He said 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.

According to the woman’s husband, however, the two cases the secretary-general spoke of were filed by her neighbour Kiran Bala on the electrical work issue in 2011. Yashpal, the former colony president of the Tilak Nagar police colony had spoken about the case to reporters.

When The Wire looked at the case papers, FIR No 484/11 Hari Nagar was also registered by Kiran Bala. The minor tussle led to a misunderstanding, following which she lodged a complaint against the junior court assistant and her family members, including her husband and brother-in-law.

In retaliation, the family of the JCA also filed a complaint against Bala for verbal abuse under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act. The differences were sorted out and the  matter was mutually settled through a settlement deed where both parties agreed to drop the cases against each other.

The secretary-general, however, termed the allegations against the CJI an “afterthought” by the woman, as she had no complaints before being terminated.

He said that she was transferred out of the CJI’s home office because “there were complaints made against her by the secretariat of the Chief Justice of India to the Secretary General on account of her inappropriate behaviour”. He added that “apart from the misconduct formally recorded in the complaint by the secretariat, there were other counts of misconduct on her part” but did not provide any details.

“It appears that these false allegations are being made as a pressure tactic to somehow come out of the various proceedings which have been initiated in law, against her and her family, for their own wrong doings. It is is also very possible that there are mischievous forces behind all this, with an intention to malign the institution,” he said.

Other responses

Reporters from three publications – The WireScroll and The Caravan – investigated the story together and tried to contact multiple people who figure in the affidavit to corroborate the complainant’s claims. H.K. Juneja, personal secretary of the CJI, Padma Sundar, one of the witnesses in the departmental inquiry and her boss at the Admin Material section, Satya Prakash Gupta, the SHO of Tilak Nagar declined to comment.

When contacted, Devender Kumar, SHO of Tilak Marg, asked the correspondent where she procured the documents from and evaded all questions. He said it was “a sensitive case” but kept changing his version of why it was so. First, he said he would only say at the court why it was sensitive. Then he said the correspondent should file a RTI to know why it was sensitive. Finally, he said it was sensitive because “it involved a woman, and all cases involving a woman are sensitive”.

When asked about illegal detention of JCA’s husband and sister-in-law, he said, “Whatever I did, I did as per procedure, let the courts decide.”

When Naveen Kumar, the complainant in the bribery case was approached in Bahadurgarh, he refused to say much about the case. Despite Kumar’s voluntary admission that he bribed the JCA, no police action was initiated against him. Kumar said he did not know how Mansha Ram, who (according to the FIR) had introduced him to the JCA, knew her. He did not divulge any details about his meeting with the JCA and remained unsure of the dates on which he met her.

But he said he wanted to drop the FIR. “Bohot tension ho raha hai (It is too much stress),” he said, complaining about frequent police visits to his home and office.

When asked why he has moved for the cancellation of JCA’s bail if he wanted to drop the FIR, he said he did not want to talk about the matter at all.

Interestingly, in early January, the former JCA’s brother-in-law claimed to have met the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Sanjay Joshi twice. He also tried to meet Rajnath Singh, the Union home affairs minister to seek help. “I have a friend, Mohan Sharma ji. I went through him. He is from the BJP, neta type, local leader,” said the JCA’s older brother-in-law.

He said he narrated the JCA’s sexual harassment incident fleetingly to Joshi, but primarily spoke about their suspensions. He said that Joshi called Delhi’s police commissioner Amulya Patnaik in their presence and asked him to do a fair inquiry. He also said that Joshi called Rajnath Singh in another meeting for the same matter.

Surya Pratap Singh, the presiding officer in the departmental inquiry against the JCA, and Deepak Jain, the SC’s registrar who ordered her dismissal, did not take calls.