New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon asked advocate Utsav Bains to file an affidavit to substantiate his allegation that three disgruntled employees of the court ‘conspired’ along with corporate lobbyists to frame sexual harassment allegations against CJI Ranjan Gogoi, LiveLaw reported.
The matter has been posted for 10:30 am on Thursday, April 25.
A special bench of the court had earlier summoned the chiefs of Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and Delhi Police to its chambers at 12:30 pm.
In the meeting, Justices Arun Mishra, R.F. Nariman and Deepak Gupta were to discuss a possible probe into an alleged “conspiracy” against the CJI.
The special bench is not considering the merits of the women’s complaint against the CJI Gogoi. Rather, it is looking into an affidavit filed by advocate Utsav Bains, which says that there is a “high-profile” conspiracy against Gogoi involving underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and a cabal of “fixers”.
In court on Wednesday, Bains provided “evidence” to the bench in a sealed cover, including what he claimed to be CCTV footage. This footage, he said, would reveal “many things”. In his affidavit, the advocate had said that he may be killed using an “untraceable poison” because of the declarations he is making or framed on a rape charge to discredit his testinony. The court has extended his police protection.
The bench too seems to believe that the sexual harassment allegations are part of a conspiracy – even though they have not heard the woman’s side of things at all. “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,” Justice Mishra said, according to LiveLaw.
When the bench reconvened on Wednesday at 3 pm, there were some dramatic exchanges, especially between Bains and Justice Nariman.
Earlier, in a hearing on Saturday, triggered officially on the basis of a mention by the solicitor general, Justice Gogoi said the allegation against him was a conspiracy to “deactivate” the chief justice of India’s office. He also assailed the complainant, accusing her of having a “criminal background”.
The attorney general today mentioned in court that Bains’s affidavit differs from his earlier Facebook post on the issue in one important way – while the post had said that a “lobby of disgruntled judges” was also in on the conspiracy, the affidavit does not.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that an SIT should be created to probe whether the affidavit is correct. Bains himself said he favoured a judicial probe.
A separate in-house panel, headed by Justice Bobde, is conducting an inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations. It has issued a notice to the complainant to appear on Friday.