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    “Women MPs Walk Out of Rajya Sabha During Ranjan Gogoi’s Maiden Speech, Citing Past Allegations”


    Women MPs Walk Out of Rajya Sabha During Ranjan Gogoi's Maiden Speech, Citing Past Allegations

    Tensions flared in the Rajya Sabha on Monday as four women Members of Parliament staged a walkout during the maiden speech of nominated member and former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi. The protest was a poignant reminder of the sexual harassment allegations that had shadowed Gogoi’s tenure as the country’s top judicial officer. The four women MPs who exited the Upper House during Gogoi’s speech were Jaya Bachchan from the Samajwadi Party, Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena (UBT), Vandana Chavan of NCP, and Sushmita Dev of TMC.

    Gogoi’s involvement in a high-profile #MeToo controversy in 2019 had stirred national and international attention. A former staffer in his office had accused him of sexual misconduct, reviving discussions about workplace harassment. Gogoi vehemently denied the allegations, characterizing them as a concerted effort to undermine the office of the Chief Justice of India, particularly as sensitive cases were scheduled for the court’s consideration.

    During the peak of the controversy, Gogoi had stated, “There is a bigger force behind this. They want to deactivate the office of the Chief Justice of India because I am hearing sensitive matters next week. Independence of judiciary is under very serious threat, it is pathetic.”

    Despite the serious allegations, a Supreme Court-appointed committee conducted an internal inquiry and found “no substance” in the accusations made by the former employee. Gogoi’s handling of the matter, including the formation of an emergency bench to hear the allegations against himself, and later, an alternative bench that questioned the character of the complainant, drew further scrutiny.

    In his recent appearance in the Rajya Sabha, Gogoi broke his silence on legislative matters by supporting the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023. Responding to concerns, he highlighted the distinction between the ongoing Supreme Court case and the bill under discussion.

    “The law doesn’t appear to be arbitrary. In my respectful submission, the bill is perfectly valid,” Gogoi concluded, addressing the contentious legislation.

    As Gogoi’s presence reignited debates about ethics, transparency, and gender justice within the Indian judiciary, his speech and the subsequent walkout by women MPs underscored the complexities surrounding such high-profile cases and their lingering impact on public discourse.

    Sources By Agencies

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