Supreme Court has ordered a probe into allegations that there is a conspiracy to frame CJI Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case. Justice Retired AK Patnaik has been appointed to head the inquiry panel. CBI Director and the IB Chief have been directed to assist Justice AK Patnaik in the case.
Supreme Court moved in swiftly to quash rumours of bench fixing that rose after an advocate Utsav Bains filed an affidavit in court saying “disgruntled employees” of SC had allegedly plotted against CJI Gogoi by filing a false sexual harassment case against him.
Advocate Utsav Bains claims that he was offered up to Rs 50 lakhs by a man who identified himself as “Ajay” to frame a “false case of sexual harassment” against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. Bains handed over an affidavit containing crucial details of the case in a sealed cover to the SC Bench of Justices Arun Misra, R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta.
In the order the top court ruled that Utsav Bains cannot claim privilege and all information required has to be disclosed. Justice Patnaik will probe the contents of the affidavit submitted by Utsav Bains.
Earlier in the day there were heated exchanges in court and Justice Arun Mishra said,”Every day we hear about bench-fixing, and wrong practices in this court. This cannot go on. Don’t provoke us anymore. We want to tell the rich and the powerful that playing with the SC is like playing with fire”. He added that 3-5% of lawyers attempt to manipulate the registry whenever there is a big case and bring a bad name to the lawyer community as well as the judiciary. “We want to send a clear message to influential people with money and political power that they cannot interfere in SC proceedings and there cannot be any match-fixing in the judicial system”, Justice Mishra added.