Delhi HC refuses to hear plea for media gag order on sexual harassment allegations against CJI Ranjan Gogoi

Aditi Singh April 29 2019
Ranjan Gogoi

The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a petition seeking to restrict the media from reporting on the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The matter was listed before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup J Bhambhani.

"Go to the Supreme Court...There is an April 20 Supreme Court order... ", Justice Menon said as soon as the matter came up for hearing.

After the petitioner further insisted on being heard, Justice Menon reiterated,

"We will not interfere...everything is with the Supreme Court. Go to the Supreme Court."

The petition by Anti Corruption Council of India sought a direction to the Central Government and the Press Council of India to prevent TV channels, newspapers as well as social media platforms from publishing or telecasting the allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Gogoi till the three-judge panel arrives at a conclusion.

Strongly suspecting the involvement of "anti-national elements", advocates Hussain Mueen Farooq and B Sudha argued that publicizing the issue would be a direct hit on the Indian judicial system and would also result in people losing faith in the system.

CJI Gogoi has been accused of sexual assault by a former officer who worked as a junior assistant at the  Supreme Court between May 2014 and December 2018.

Soon after the allegations surfaced, a special sitting of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi with Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna was convened in the Supreme Court on April 20.

While it did not pass a gag order, the Supreme Court had urged the media to show restraint, responsibility and wisdom while reporting the allegations.

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