'We all make mistakes': Ex- CJI Gogoi regrets for being part of bench in hearing case on sexual harassment allegationstext_fields
New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi Wednesday has regretted being part of the bench to hear a case related to sexual harassment allegations against him.
Speaking at the launch of his autography, 'Justice for the Judge', Justice Gogoi said that 'We all make mistakes' and added that there was no harm in accepting it.
"In hindsight, I should not have been a judge on the bench (which heard alleged sexual harassment case against him). 45 years of my hard work in bar and bench was being spoiled. It might have been better If I was not part of the bench, he told a private news channel at the book launch function.
During the book launch function, the first head of judiciary from northeast states, spoke about all the issues, including controversial ones, during his tenure as the 46th CJI and vehemently denied the allegation of 'quid pro quo' in getting the Rajya Sabha nomination in lieu of the Ayodhya verdict.
In 2019, a former Supreme Court staffer had accused him of sexually harassing her, and pursuant to her allegations, the Supreme Court took a suo motu cognisance and a three-judge bench headed by Justice Gogoi was constituted.
He was later given clean chit by an in-house committee of three judges headed by Justice S A Bobde. Other members of the committee were two women judges -- Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.
The former CJI, simultaneously, defended the procedure of the in-house panel to probe into the allegations saying that it has been there for the last 20 years.
On the critical issue of reinstatement of the woman, who had levelled the allegations against him, Justice Gogoi said she was reinstated during his tenure only as his successor received a letter for re-appointment on humanitarian grounds.
"He (Justice Bobde) asked me and I said deal with it. Justice Bobde reinstated her with compassion", Justice Gogoi said.
Justice Gogoi, hailing from Dibrugarh in Assam, became the CJI on October 3, 2018, and demitted office on November 17 next year