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India’s Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi accused of sexual harassment

08:03 PM | 20 Apr, 2019
India’s Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi accused of sexual harassment
NEW DELHI - India's top judge fought off a sexual harassment storm Saturday after a former Supreme Court staff member accused him of making unwanted advances and hounding her.

Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi said the accusations made by a 35-year-old former court assistant were "unbelievable" and an attempt to stop him hearing important cases.

Saying judicial independence was at stake, Gogoi, 64, called a special session of the apex court after the woman wrote to 22 Supreme Court judges on Friday, alleging he twice made sexual advances in the office of his official residence in October last year.

"He hugged me around the waist, and touched me all over my body with his arms and by pressing his body against mine, and did not let go," she wrote in an affidavit seen by AFP.

"He told me 'hold me', he did not let go of me despite the fact that I froze and tried to get out of his embrace by stiffening and moving my body away," the document added.

The woman claimed that she was dismissed from her job and her family had been harassed after she rebuffed Gogoi's advances.

She also said she was summoned by Gogoi's wife who asked her to prostrate herself and rub her nose at her feet to seek forgiveness.

- Reputation at stake -

"I have taken this unusual and extraordinary step of sitting in court today because things have gone too far," Gogoi said.

"This is unbelievable. I don't think I should stoop low even to deny these allegations... there has to be a bigger force behind this."

The chief justice, who is to retire in November after a year as chief justice, said he was scheduled to hear many sensitive cases in coming days and that he would continue his work "without any fear".

"Why do you think a person decides to become a judge? Reputation is all that matters for a judge. If that is also under attack, what is left?"

Gogoi said the woman had a criminal background and that the media must act responsibly on reporting the allegations.

A New Delhi court is to hear a police application on Wednesday to cancel bail for the woman in a separate criminal investigation.

The woman, a married mother of one, has called on the Supreme Court to set up a "special inquiry committee" to look into her accusations.

The #MeToo movement has touched several Bollywood directors, actors
and media figures accused of sexual harassment.

A junior foreign minister was forced to resign last year after several women accused him of harassment.
The Supreme Court, one of India's most respected institutions, has 25 judges appointed by the president, including the chief justice.

The court often rules on key policy matters and orders measures taken in public interest.

The latest allegations set Twitter abuzz Saturday with a leading women's rights activist, Kavita Krishnan, saying the judiciary must come clean on the "extremely serious" charges.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates Today - Pakistani Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, Riyal - 22 July 2024

Pakistani rupee rates against US Dollar and other currencies on July 22, 2024 (Monday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 279.15 for buying and 280.85 for selling. Euro's buying rate remains stable at 301.25 and selling rate is 303.25.

British Pound rate is 354.75 for buying, and 358.25 for selling. UAE Dirham AED was at 76.4 and Saudi Riyal lowered to 73.60.

Currency Rates Today

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.15 280.85
Euro EUR 301.25 303.25
UK Pound Sterling GBP 354.75 358.25
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.40 77.15
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.60 74.32
Australian Dollar AUD 184.75 186.55
Bahrain Dinar BHD 741.15 749.15
Canadian Dollar CAD 203.50 205.50
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 40.05 40.45
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.70 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 36.05 36.05
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.25 917.35
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.95 59.75
New Zealand Dollar NZD 169.24 171.24
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.04 26.34
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.89
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.39 77.09
Singapore Dollar SGD 202.00 204.00
Swedish Korona SEK 26.40 26.70
Swiss Franc CHF 309.05 311.55
Thai Bhat THB 7.50 7.65

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