All of us have sometimes been in this position where we have gone up on stage, received an award with our chest swollen with pride and head held high. This thrill and excitement of getting an award never ceases to exist, cutting across barriers of age.

The thrill of getting that award increases a hundred folds when the same is conferred upon us by some eminent personality and you crack a jackpot if that person is the highest authority in your field.

Chief Justice of India is one such authority. He stands at the top in the hierarchy of members of the legal profession and the onus to deliver justice lies on his able shoulders.

However, the TOPPER of the National Law University, Delhi rather gallantly stood against the authorities and refused to take her award from the hands of the highest post holder in the legal framework.

She took this firm step to show her protest against how the scandalous sexual harassment claims against CJI Ranjan Gogoi were handled.

What Were The Sexual Harassment Charges?

A few months back, a woman who was earlier an employee at CJI’s office accused CJI Gogoi of unwelcome advances and went on to claim that several charges were imposed against her to hide the truth.

The matter was dealt with urgency and the Supreme Court took it upon itself to unveil the truth behind these allegations.

Soon, the allegations against CJI were proven to be false and frivolous. The allegations were also taken back by the so-called victim.

However, CJI was condemned by certain people for the fact that he was a part of the bench judging the matter, blatantly breaching the principles of natural justice.

Read Also: Is It Time To Get Rid Of Long Vacations For The Supreme Court?

Why Did NLU Topper Refuse To Take Award From CJI?

National Law University’s topper and gold medalist, Shubhi Karwa skipped the event where she was to be given the gold medal and the same was conferred in absentia.

There must be substantial reason because of which Ms. Shubhi resorted to skipping the ceremony.

Like most of us would have been, she was also probably happy knowing that she would get the gold medal, however; a dilemma swept her when she realized that the same would be conferred upon her by CJI.

While talking to Indian Express, the NLU Delhi’s topper said, “Everything I learnt in the classroom put me in a moral quandary over the last few weeks on whether I should receive the award from CJI Gogoi. The institution he heads failed when sexual harassment allegations were made against him.”

Despite refusing to be a part of the convocation ceremony, Karwa mentioned that she hasn’t refused her award.

This may not be a very calculated move on part of Ms. Karwa, however, this was a brave move nevertheless. It is sure to spark a new trend in the Indian judiciary which will teach the aspiring and existing lawyers and judges to raise their voice and exercise their right to speech and expression in its true sense.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: The Logical India, The Wire, Indian Express

Find the blogger @innocentlysane

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  1. National Law University (NLU) topper Surbhi Karwa skipped her convocation on August 17 to mark her protest over the Supreme Court’s handling of the sexual harassment charges against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

    When her name was called out to receive the gold medal for standing first in her LLM class at NLU, New Delhi, university registrar GS Bajpai announced, “Unfortunately, she is not here. We will award her the medal in absentia,” The Indian Express reported.


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