Charge against CJI: SC asks lawyer to submit affidavit by tomorrow
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked lawyer Utsav Bains to submit an affidavit by tomorrow to corroborate his claim that former apex court employees came together to frame sexual harassment charge against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi with the help of some powerful lobbyists.
A special three-judge bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Fali Nariman and Deepak Gupta while posting the matter to tomorrow, directed the advocate to file his affidavit by 10:30 a.m. when the court will assemble for the hearing.
During the second session of today’s proceedings, the court said as per Bains’ affidavit, there was a fixing game involving dismissed employees who had ganged up and registry officials, going on for favourable benches.
“It is a matter of grave concern, fixing has no role to play in this system. In case Bains has named one person, we have to go to the root of the matter. Who are those fixers? They have to be booked and they have no role in the country. That’s the serious allegation,” the bench observed.
It also clarified that this matter will not have any effect on the in-house inquiry into the charge against CJI Gogoi.
“We will inquire and inquire and inquire and take it to the conclusion otherwise no one will survive. We have to be independent. We have to find out is there any fixer working in the Supreme Court,” the special bench said.
“Entire country will lose faith if this affidavit will get unnoticed,” it said.
Earlier this day, the top court bench termed as “very serious and disturbing” the submission of Bains that a corporate person and other fixers were involved in a conspiracy to frame Justice Gogoi.
It observed that the contention of the advocate needs to be investigated.
The bench summoned the directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Delhi Police Commissioner for an in-chamber meeting.
“Can you call to our chamber the director of CBI?” Justice Mishra asked Attorney General KK Venugopal.
Justice Mishra after perusing the affidavit of Bains, said, “CJI (Gogoi) was trying to clean up the system. No CJI has shown the courage to take action against certain elements. He was acting without fear of anyone.”
Handing over “material evidence” to the court in a sealed cover, Bains said, “I have a CCTV footage, which is real evidence. I am submitting material evidence to this court. The accused-mastermind is very powerful.”
The bench said that an in-house panel, constituted to investigate the charge against the CJI, will continue, but another independent investigation is required to look into a larger conspiracy behind the allegation against Justice Gogoi.
On Tuesday, a three-member committee of the apex court led by Justice SA Bobde, the senior-most judge after the Chief
Justice, was formed to look into the allegation of sexual harassment made by a dismissed employee against Justice Gogoi.
The other two members of the committee are Justices NV Ramana and Indira Banerjee. Justice Ramana is the third in the seniority list in the apex court and will the Chief Justice after the retirement of Justice Bobde.
The committee has also issued a notice to the woman and asked her to be present before it on April 26.
Bains had on Monday filed an affidavit in the top court, saying there was a larger “conspiracy” playing out to compel the CJI to resign.