Supreme Court judge Justice N.V. Ramana has recused from a three-judge inquiry panel constituted to probe the allegations of sexual harassment made against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi by a former staffer of the top court.
The development came after the complainant wrote to the inquiry panel, objecting to Justice Ramana’s presence on the Committee. She alleged that Justice Ramana apparently shared a close friendship with the Chief Justice and that she apprehended that eventually she may not get a fair hearing.
The panel is headed by Supreme Court judge Justice S.A. Bobde and includes Justice Indira Banerjee besides Justice Ramana.
In her letter, the complainant said that Justice Ramana was apparently a frequent visitor to the residence of the Chief Justice and it appeared to her that the bond between the two is extremely strong and apparently the Justice Gogoi treats him like a family member.
She pointed out that on April 20, the day her affidavit was sent to the Supreme Court judges, Justice Ramana had dismissed her allegations while speaking in Hyderabad.
According to sources familiar with the matter, a new panel will be formed by the evening by drafting in a new Supreme Court judge into the Committee to inquire into the sexual harassment complaint against the Chief Justice.
The inquiry process will begin on Friday, the sources said, adding that the sudden recusal of Justice Ramana will not prejudice the process.