The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking to restrain the media from reporting the sexual harassment allegation against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani rejected the plea and asked the petitioner to go to the Supreme Court. “We will not interfere in the issue… Everything is with the Supreme Court. Go to the Supreme Court,” the court said.
The bench also mentioned that there is a Supreme Court order dated April 20 on this regard. On April 20, the apex court has said: “Having considered the matter, we refrain from passing any judicial order at this moment, leaving it to the wisdom of the media to show restraint, act responsibly as is expected from them and accordingly decide what should or should not be published, as wild and scandalous allegations undermine and irreparably damage reputation and negate independence of judiciary.”
Gogoi has rubbished the allegation of sexual harassment against him, saying that there was a “larger conspiracy” to destabilize the independence of the judiciary which, he said, was “under very serious threat”. The Delhi High court was hearing a petition filed by an Anti Corruption Council of India organisation through counsel Hussain Mueen Farooq and B. Sudha.
The petition has sought a direction to restrain TV channels, newspapers as well as social media platforms from publishing or telecasting the allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI till the three-judge panel arrives at any conclusion. The petitioner said that he suspected the involvement of “anti-national elements” in the matter.