DISCLAIMER: Name of the woman in this article has been changed to “ABC” to protect her privacy
– ABC, whose husband is a head constable in the Delhi Police and mother of a 7-year-old daughter, is appointed Junior Court Assistant in the Supreme Court of India.
– She is posted to the Legislation section of the Supreme Court Library
– Her job involves typing and documentation work in the library.
– During court hours she is sent to different courts to help Court Masters with arranging books and judgments during court proceedings and answering intercom.
ABC enrols for an LLB degree in CCS University, Meerut while she is employed.
May 28, 2015
ABC receives her Annual Confidential Report (ACR) evaluating her work between May 2014 – March 21, 2015. Her grading is “Good”
ABC is assigned to work in Justice Vikramjit Sen’s court for close to 10 months
August 5, 2016
ABC receives her second ACR for the period April 1, 2015 – March 21, 2016. Her grading “very good”
ABC is assigned to work as Junior Court Assistant in Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s court, since his regular junior court assistant had gone on leave. Her work involves providing support to Court Masters during court proceedings.
ABC continues to work in Justice Gogoi’s court
ABC does not go to Justice Gogoi court for 10 days because she was preparing for her LLB exams. She did this with permission from her immediate boss. She takes a few days off to appear for her LLB exams.
– ABC rejoins court work.
– Justice Gogoi calls ABC to his chamber in the Supreme Court for the first time. He tells her she was good at her work in getting citations; he enquires about her areas of interest and her family; and he asks if she would be able to do research.
· He also asks how she balances her professional and private life.
January 2018 – May 2018
– Justice Gogoi assigns work that is of a more responsible nature, not part of her mandate, and for which she has no training – that of preparing case summaries. Justice Gogoi would tell her to speak her mind and not worry
– Just before court vacations, Justice Gogoi invites her to a staff lunch on May 19, 2018.
– ABC attends the lunch
May 19, 2018 to July 1, 2018
Summer vacations in the Supreme Court
– Justice Gogoi summons her to his residence from the library landline. He informs her of a book launch at the Constitution Club that he insists she should attend along with her husband
– Justice Gogoi calls her again a few days later insisting that she attend the book launch and to bring her husband along as the programme would end late
– ABC and her husband attend the book launch
July 2, 2018
– The Supreme Court reopens after the summer vacations
– Justice Gogoi calls all his staff for a meeting
– Justice Gogoi specifically asks ABC about her vacations, her daughter and the work assigned to her
– Justice Gogoi continues to assign case briefs to her
– On one occasion Justice Gogoi gives ABC some sweets to give to her daughter
– He asks her to bring her husband to meet him on July 31, 2018
July 31, 2018
– ABC’s husband comes to meet Justice Gogoi, following the judge’s request.
– Justice Gogoi spends two hours with both of them.
– Justice Gogoi tells her husband in Hindi that the work ABC is doing is well above her rank (jis rank par kaam kar rahi hain, is level se bada upar hain)
– He also tells the husband that if ABC works hard, she will reach high in her profession (agar mehnat kare to bohot upar pahunch sakti hain)
– Justice Gogoi also tells both of them to approach him if they have any difficulties
– Justice Gogoi asks ABC about her exam results and compliments her on her marks
– He says she should be doing something better than “pulling out books” as “any illiterate person can pull out books from the court”
– Justice Gogoi summons ABC to his chamber in court; expresses irritation that she had not taken his calls
– When she says that she had not received any calls from him, he demands to see her phone to check her call logs. She explains that she had blocked unknown numbers.
– He crosschecks by calling her number and when he sees the call does not go through, he asks her to save his number. She also changes the setting on her phone
– He gives her another number which he says is his private number and only another member of this trusted staff has; and yet another number which he says is to be used for WhatsApp communication
– Justice Gogoi says he will be using these numbers to communicate confidential information and that she should not receive calls on this number in front of her family
– Justice Gogoi continues to summon ABC to his chamber in the Supreme Court and to assign work to her.
– He would WhatsApp and call several times during the day, during non-court hours and late evenings
– He instructed her to call him in the morning from her home to find out if he needed books and other materials to be kept ready for him at the Supreme Court chamber
– Justice Gogoi calls ABC to his chamber where he informs her that he will soon be the Chief Justice of India and that he needs staff that he can trust and are competent.
– He says he needs someone to work out of his residence office and informs her immediate superior
– Justice Gogoi instructs ABC to speak to his Private Personal Secretary, HK Juneja to discuss the modalities of the transfer
– Juneja discusses with ABC the need to maintain confidentiality at all times
– Juneja also mentions that she is the youngest employee to be appointed to the post
– She expresses her gratitude
– Juneja also assures her that her work timings will remain the same as before viz 10am to 5pm
August 11, 2018 onwards
– ABC is posted at the residence office of Justice Ranjan Gogoi at 10, Tees January Marg, New Delhi and the staff member who was already at the office is transferred back to the Supreme Court
– ABC senses some resentment for being a junior employee with no knowledge of shorthand like the other staff
August 27, 2018
– The official transfer order regarding ABC’s transfer to Justice Gogoi’s residence office is issued.
– Even though the office timings were initially between 9am and 5pm, ABC is required to arrive at 8am
– She also finds that the two officers who were on the morning shift at the residence office are shifted to the afternoon or evening shift.
– A staff member with the ability to take shorthand, assigned to train ABC, is also moved to the afternoon shift at 3pm.
– Justice Gogoi’s timings are 8am-9:45am at the residence office in the morning, when ABC is summoned several times. He would return from the Supreme Court at 4:30 or 5pm.
– During this period Justice Gogoi calls ABC to his residence office room and instructs her to send him a “Good Morning” message every morning on WhatsApp
– Even though she finds it “strange”, she starts messaging him every morning at around 6-6:30am
– He also asks her to inform him on WhatsApp that she had reached home after work.
– On days that she forgets, he sends a “?” message and seeks an explanation the following day.
– He comments that he has noticed on WhatsApp that she is up at 12 midnight
– Every morning, on reporting to work, Justice Gogoi asks to see her phone and instructs her to delete all message from him
– She assumes this is the norm, since the work she does with the judge is confidential
– On one occasion, he tells ABC she is one among his three assets that include his wife and daughter.
– “You will be the third person I will be inviting” he says of his oath taking ceremony for becoming the Chief Justice of India
– He asks her to work diligently without taking any leave as he is due to become the Chief Justice
– He arranges a car assigned to NALSA to drop her off at the nearest metro station, when she mentions problems at home due to long work hours
– Justice Gogoi repeatedly tells ABC that he is in a position to help her
– He offers to provide her accommodation close to his residence so that she is readily available for work
– She declines his offer and informs him that she is comfortable with her present accommodation
– She informs the judge of her disabled brother in- law in need of work
– Justice Gogoi promises to help once he is Chief Justice
– He tells ABC as Chief Justice he will be able to use his discretionary quota to make appointments to the Supreme Court registry
Preparations for Justice Gogoi’s oath taking ceremony as Chief Justice of India
– ABC is asked to work on preparing for a celebratory party
– ABC’s husband is invited to the party
October 2, 2018
Party at Justice Gogoi’s residence
– ABC meets Justice Gogoi’s daughter and son-in-law. Takes photo.
Justice Gogoi’s swearing in ceremony
– ABC and her husband are officially invited
– She is one among a select few whose spouses are invited to the ceremony
Justice Gogoi is now Chief Justice of India
– Chief Justice Gogoi asks for her brother in-law’s resume
– A few days later, he is interviewed and appointed court attendant through the Chief Justice’s discretionary quota
October 10, 2018
– The Chief Justice calls her to his room; asks her to sit on a chair across his desk and tells her that her brother in-law had been appointed even though he was found to be medically unfit.
– ABC expresses her gratitude
October 10, 2018
– It is the first day of Navaratri and ABC is not in her standard black and white uniform but in coloured clothes
– Chief Justice tells ABC, “You are looking pretty good today”.
– The Chief Justice asks ABC to come and stand next to him, while he is still sitting at his desk
– The Chief Justice gets up from his chair, takes her hand and tells her hands smell nice
October 10, 2018
– The Chief Justice asks her at this stage:
– “What can you do for me?”
– ABC says she is grateful, and her whole family is grateful
October 10, 2018
– The Chief Justice, who is standing next to her, places his hand at the back of her head and slides it along her back to her hipline till her lower back
– ABC stiffens; the Chief Justice senses her resistance, pulls her cheeks and says he behave like his with his daughter too
– The Chief Justice again asks ABC what she can do for him. She repeats she is grateful
– “No, no I know you will not speak, so write it down and show me,” he says
– The Chief Justice then continues to assign official work to her
– ABC is stunned at the Chief Justice’s behaviour but carries on with her work
October 11, 2018
– In the morning, the Chief Justice summons ABC to his residence office.
– She stands by the door with her notepad and pen as is the norm
– Chief Justice asks her to sit across the desk from him
– He comments that her whole family must be happy with the brother-in-law’s appointment
– He says “If you put on weight, you will look good”
– The Chief Justice offers her sweets that are in his room and says it is she who should be giving him sweets because of the brother-in-law’s job
October 11, 2018
– The Chief Justice of India again asks A: “So what can you do for me?”
– He asks her if she had written down anything about what she could do for him.
– She remembers writing the following:
“Your Lordship is a blessing to me; words cannot describe how thankful I am; I will always be grateful for all that Your Lordship is doing for me; my entire family is grateful; I am grateful for your support.”
October 11, 2018
– The Chief Justice reads the piece of paper
– He gets up from his chair and walks across to the left of where ABC is sitting.
– ABC stands up as the Chief Justice is also standing
– He takes the notepad from her hand and put it on the desk
– He pinches her cheeks
– He then puts his arms around her waist from the front
– The Chief Justice says, “I want this from you”
– He hugs her from around her waist
– He touches her all over her body with his arms
– He presses his body against hers
– He does not let go of her
– He tells her, “Hold me”.
– She struggles to move away but since the Chief Justice refuses to let go, she pushes him away with her hands
– Because of the force she uses, he hits his head against a bookshelf/cabinet.
– ABC leaves the Chief Justice’s office room in a state of shock
October 11, 2018
– A few minutes later after the above incident, ABC is summoned again to the Chief Justice’s office
– He tells her not share what has happened in his room with anybody (Jo yahan hua hai, you will not share with anybody)
– ABC is afraid and agrees
– The Chief Justice then dictates to ABC to write on the piece of paper she has with her “I will not harm your dignity, will you let me hold you”
– Even though ABC realizes she was being manipulated, out of intense fear, she writes as he dictates.
– ABC is unable to work that day. She is dizzy and in a state of shock and unable to work and leaves for home.
October 11, 2018
– On reaching home ABC finds she has received several calls from Badar, Administrative Department, Supreme Court Registry and Mathani, Secretary General of the Supreme Court, asking after her welfare. This is the first time that she has received calls from both persons
– When Badar asks her if all is well between her and her husband, she realizes that the Chief Justice has “concocted a story” since all the staff had noticed that her behaviour had not been normal that day
October 11, 2018
– ABC calls the Chief Justice on his phone to tell him she can no long work for him
– He does not receive the call
– He asks his personal secretary to tell her not to disturb the Chief Justice at that time, even though it had been normal for him to send her WhatsApp messages late into the night.
– She hears from her neighbours later that the SHO from the Tilak Marg police station had called the President of the colony where she lives to find out if all was well between her and her husband
October 12 2018
– The Chief Justice’s behaviour has changed dramatically
– He says her family will greatly disturbed if the incident of October 10 is disclosed.
– He stops calling her to his residence office as often
– When he does summon her to his office, he asks a peon to accompany her and insists on leaving the office door open
– He tells her to continue sending “Good Morning” messages and to behave and work normally
– ABC is stressed and unable to function normally. The staff notice and question her. She does not talk about the incidents to anybody, not even her husband.
– A week after the incident she informs the Chief Justice that she will be unable to work from his residence office
October 22, 2018
– ABC is moved out of the residence office of the Chief Justice to the Centre for Research and Planning in the Supreme Court.
– When her immediate superior comments that she has got such a senior post she says everything is not as it seems “jaisa dikhta hai waisa hota nahin hai”
End October, 2018
– The Chief Justice visits the Centre for Research and Planning with Justices Bobde and Ramana. He tells the two judges that I am a good worker and bright.
– A few days later he asks the Secretary General to bring her to his Supreme Court chamber where he asks her if she is willing to rejoin his court.
– ABC firms refuses
November 16, 2018
ABC’s seat is changed to the Administrative Material Section.
November 17, 2018
– ABC applies for leave as it is a Saturday and she needs to attend her daughter’s school function
– Her supervisor advises her to report to work after the function.
– The function goes on till 12:15pm and as Saturday is half day, she informs the supervisor who she has been in touch with throughout the day, that she will be able to attend office because of the delay.
November 19, 2018
– ABC is issued a memorandum that rendered her liable for disciplinary action under the Conduct Rules
– The reasons given for the memorandum include:
o Questioning the decision of senior officers regarding change of posting and seating
o Taking unauthorized leave
November 22, 2018
– ABC submits her written reply explaining that she had not sought to change seats, nor questioned her senior officers’ decision.
– She submits that she had applied for casual leave on November 17 and had been unable to attend office after her daughter’s school function because it had overrun into the afternoon and Saturday was a half day working day only
November 22, 2018
ABC is transferred to the Library Division – her third transfer in one month
November 26, 2018
ABC receives a memorandum stating that her explanation of November 22 was not found satisfactory and that further action is contemplated under the Supreme Court Officers and Servants (Conditions of Service and Conduct) Rules, 1961
November 27, 2018
– ABC receives a suspension order, stating that disciplinary proceedings were being contemplated against her.
– For the first time after the incidents involving the Chief Justice of India, she tells her husband about her sexual harassment at the hands of the Chief Justice
November 27, 2018
ABC receives another memorandum stating that an enquiry was being instituted against her for committing misconduct under Rule 13 of the Supreme Court Officers and Servants (Conditions of Service and Conduct) Rules, 1961.
The charges include:
– Showing dissatisfaction with seating arrangements
– Exerting pressure to have seating changed
– Unauthorizedly absenting herself on November 17, 2018
November 27, 2018
ABC’s husband, Head Constable in Delhi Police is suddenly transferred from the Crime Branch division in the third battalion
December 6, 2018
ABC denies all charges against her with respect to the departmental inquiry being instituted for her misconduct.
– With regard to the seating arrangement, ABC explains in her reply that the fact that she had within three weeks been posted in three different places had made her anxious and she had expressed her anxiety to the Branch Officer, Administrative Materials Section
– She denied exerting pressure to have her seating changed. She only expressed her worry at the frequent change and had asked to find out if she had done anything wrong
– Her reply with regard to her taking leave on a Saturday to attend her daughter’s school function remained the same as before
December 10, 2018
ABC receives notice that a Departmental Enquiry is being conducted. Surya Pratap Sigh, Registrar is appointed Enquiry Officer
December 15, 2018
ABC writes to Surya Pratap Singh saying that she would like to appoint a defence assistant.
December 17, 2018
– ABC is asked to appear for her defence statement at 10:30 am
– While waiting to be called in to the enquiry room, ABC faints and is rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in a state of unconsciousness.
– The medical report that ABC received from the hospital attests to the fact that she was brought to the hospital by staff and in an unconscious state
December 18, 2018
– ABC is informed by the Registrar (Admin) that a departmental enquiry conducted against her had found all charges levelled against her to be proved.
– The report says ABC was given an opportunity to lead defence evidence, but she had not appeared; as a result, the enquiry had proceeded ex parte
December 20, 2018
– ABC’s husband submitted her defence statement to the Registrar in which she denied all charge
– He also submitted a note stating that she had had to be hospitalized, and was taken from the Supreme Court premises just before the enquiry proceedings had begun on December 17, 2018
December 21, 2018
ABC is dismissed from service without granting her any opportunity to rebut the charges against her
December 28, 2018
ABC’s husband, and his brother, who is also a constable in the Delhi Police, receive a call that they have been suspended
December 29, 2018
ABC’s husband, receives a letter of suspension. No reason is given. The letter says he is suspended “pending enquiry into conduct”
December 29, 2018
Realising that every member of their family was under attack and believing that the attack was on account of ABC’s rejection of the sexual advances made by the Chief Justice of India, ABC’s husband calls HK Juneja, the personal secretary to the Chief Justice of India, to seek help to set up a meeting with the CJI. Juneja denies any knowledge of their situation
December 31, 2018
ABC’s husband is informed that a complaint had been made against him for making unsolicited calls to the Chief Justice’s personal secretary
January 2, 2019
ABC’s husband receives orders from the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vikas Puri stating that departmental action was being initiated against him for making unsolicited calls to the office of the Chief Justice. This, the order said, amounted to official misconduct
January 9, 2019
– ABC’s husband receives yet another order from the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vikas Puri stating that he had links with local gamblers and had approached the SHO Tilak Nagar to allow ‘satta activities’ and that disciplinary activities would be initiated. It mentioned a 2012 criminal complaint against him and his brother, a complaint that had been compounded on January 12, 2017.
– ABC’s husband was transferred from 3rd Bn DAP to 2nd Bn DAP so that joint departmental enquiries could be carried out against him and his brother
January 10, 2019
– ABC’s husband was summoned by Naresh Solanki, SHO, Tilak Marg, Police Station where he (ABC’s husband) was told that if ABC apologized to the Chief Justice of India, their problems would be solved
– On asking him what we needed to apologize for, the SHO said he had no idea
January 11, 2019
– The SHO once again summons ABC’s husband and ABC to the police station
– They arrive at the police station
– The SHO calls Deepak Jain, Registrar, Supreme Court of India to discuss how to reach the residence of the Chief Justice of India
– The SHO changes into civilian clothes
– The SHO drives ABC and her husband, to the Chief Justice’s residence where Deepak Jain, the Registrar is present
– Deepak Jain takes ABC to meet Mrs Gogoi in the drawing room of the Chief Justice’s residence
– Mrs Gogoi tells ABC to rub her nose on the ground (naak ragad ke jao).
– Thinking this would save her family from the ongoing harassment, she does as she is ordered – she rubs her nose at Mrs Gogoi’s feet and says sorry.
– The Chief Justice was not present in the room
– ABC and her husband are taken back to Tilak Marg police station where the SHO changes back into his uniform
– He asks them to narrate what had happened, which ABC does, viz the sexual harassment at the hands of the Chief Justice
– On the SHO’s asking, ABC tells him she that she had not told anyone about what had happened as per the Chief Justice’s instructions and that she did not know how Mrs Gogoi had come to know about the incidents.
– He assures them that now that ABC had apologized, the situation should improve
– He tells not to ask why they had to apologize
– He says he will follow up with the Registrar, Deepak Jain, regarding the case.
– The entire conversation with the SHO was recorded
January 14, 2019
ABC’s disabled brother in law’s services are terminated. He had been appointed a court attendant from the Chief Justice’s discretionary quota
In the face of unrelenting harassment, ABC starts suffering from panic attacks; confines herself to her house and has to seek help from psychiatrists and neurologists due to depression and lack of sleep
March 3, 2019
Unknown to ABC and ABC’s husband, an FIR is lodged against both of them at the instance of a Haryana resident, Naveen Kumar, under Sections 420, 506 read with Section 120 of the Indian Penal Code.
March 8, 2019
ABC and ABC’s husband are at the latter’s village in Rajasthan
At 10pm a team of police officers turn up to ask them to accompany them back to the Tilak Marg police station in New Delhi to enquire into another complaint lodged against both of them.
Following repeated pleas from ABC to not take them away at night, the police agree to wait till the following morning
March 9, 2019
– On ABC’s husband’s request to give them notice regarding the FIR, a notice was issued at 9:45 am under Section 41.1 of the CrPc by SI Dharmendra Kumar, requiring ABC’s attendance at Tilak Marg police station at 2pm.
– ABC and ABC’s husband are taken to the Mukungarh police station in Jhunjhunu from where they are driven to the Tilak Marg police station
– ABC and ABC’s husband arrive at Tilak Marg police station at 5:30pm using their own private car.
– It is here that ABC and ABC’s husband are finally informed of the contents of the FIR. The charges, to their shock, include payment of Rs 50,000 to ABC for getting a job in the Supreme Court by using her connections in the court.
– As ABC starts to feel unwell, on the request of ABC’s husband she is allowed to go out of the police station to meet a doctor.
– ABC accompanied by her sister-in-law goes to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital.
March 10, 2019
– At 2am, ABC’s mother in-law calls ABC’s sister-in-law, who has accompanied ABC to the hospital to rush back to their house. ABC and her sister in-law rush to the house to find SHO Tilak Marg Police Station, Devender Kumar, in plain clothes and her husband, in handcuffs
– ABC and her sister in-law were soon pushed into a waiting police van. ABC’s hands and legs were tied once she was inside the van.
March 10, 2019
– All three were forcefully taken to the Tilak Marg police station through a gate with no CCTV cameras.
– ABC’s feet are shackled to a bench
– She is abused by the SHO. He kicks her.
March 10, 2019
– At 7 or 8am ABC is untied from the bench and take inside the police station where there are CCTV cameras installed. There she is handcuffed inside the ladies lock up.
– At 11am, ABC is taken into the Investigating Officer’s (IO) room and at 12 noon she is subjected to medical tests at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital
– At 2pm ABC is produced before a Metropolitan Magistrate. The police ask for 3 days police custody. The MM grants one day police custody.
– ABC’s mobile phone is seized. She fears important evidence will be deleted and her phone tampered with
March 11, 2019
– ABC is produced before the metropolitan magistrate who grants the police 14 days judicial custody
– ABC is kept in Tihar Jail
March 12, 2019
– ABC moves bail application before Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala Court.
– Police oppose bail
– Metropolitan Magistrate grants bail
March 14, 2019
ABC moves an application before the Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala Court, requesting that CCTV footage from March 9 to March 10 from the Tilak Marg police station be preserved and ABC be provided a copy of the same.
March 23, 2019
After close to 10 days the CCTV application is listed
March 23, 2019
– ABC sends detailed letter to Delhi Commission of Women and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi mentioning only the harassment and inhuman treatment meted out to her and her husband by the Tilak Marg police station SHO Devender Kumar on March 10, 2019
– ABC’s husband writes to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, PMO’s office, National Human Rights Commission, Special Commissioner of Police, Law & Order, Chief Minister of Delhi, Ministry of Home Affairs, regarding the relentless harassment and assault on his whole family by the SHO of the Tilak Marg police station
April 9, 2019
– ABC’s husband receives an order from Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police 2nd Bn DAP, Delhi stating that he and his brother were under suspension and that departmental action was being initiated. The reasons given were the same as mentioned earlier.
April 11, 2019
– The case pertaining to the FIR of March 3, mentioned above, is transferred to the crime branch.
– The newly appointed investigating officer moves application for cancellation of bail