India’s chief justice cleared of sexual harassment complaint

NEW DELHI (AP) — A court inquiry on Monday cleared India’s chief justice of sexual harassment allegations made by a former employee at his official residence in New Delhi.

The inquiry committee said it found no substance to the allegations by a 35-year-old woman against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The Supreme Court did not give any other details. It said that the report by Justices S.A. Bobde, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra would not be made public.

Gogoi appeared on Wednesday before the inquiry committee and denied the allegations. The woman earlier withdrew from the inquiry, saying she felt she was not likely to get justice from the committee.

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The woman filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court last month alleging two instances of misconduct last October, shortly after Gogoi took over as India’s most senior judge.

Last year, Indian actresses and writers took to social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault in a growing #MeToo movement.

Junior External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar resigned last year amid accusations by 20 women of sexual harassment during his previous career as one of the country’s most prominent news editors.

India has passed new laws aimed at improving women’s safety, but critics say they have done little to change the status quo.

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