NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will not stop until it gets to the bottom of the sensational claims made by a lawyer that the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi could be part of a larger conspiracy by vested interests. A three-judge special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said if ‘fixers’ are indeed able to manipulate the judiciary as alleged, then neither the institution nor any of the judges will survive.
“This institution of judiciary is greater than all of us. If any fixing circle is operating here, the entire country will lose faith in judiciary, we want to go to the root of alleged conspiracy,” Justice Mishra observed.The hearing comes a day after the apex court constituted a three-judge in-house committee to examine allegations of sexual harassment raised by a former woman employee against CJI Gogoi.
Lawyer Utsav Singh Bains, who made the conspiracy claim, on Wednesday submitted the evidence to substantiate his claims and said that he has some more material to place before the court. The bench asked him to file another affidavit by Thursday morning with full details.
The court also asked him to corroborate charges that the two court masters sacked for tampering with an order in connection with a case related to industrialist Anil Ambani had hatched a conspiracy with the former woman employee who has accused the CJI of sexual harassment. “This is a serious matter that needs to be looked into,” the bench said adding that it will take up the matter for hearing on Thursday.
On the request of senior advocate Indira Jaising that this hearing shall not have any bearing on the in-house committee probe, the bench said, “We clarify that the exercise which is undertaken by the court on the judicial side is outside the scope of the said matter, the correctness of which has to be looked into on the administrative side by the appropriate authorities.
We are taking up the matter so as to ascertain the correctness of the averments made in the affidavit, to ascertain the various aspects which have been mentioned which cannot be done without proper investigation and any order passed on judicial side by this Court shall not affect the matter on administrative side.”Earlier in the day, the court asked the chiefs of the CBI, IB and Delhi Police to meet the judges in their chambers. It, however, rejected request of Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to order a court-monitored SIT probe.
Accuser wants Ramana out
The former SC staffer who made allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has expressed concerns about the presence of Justice N V Ramana in the inquiry panel saying he is a close friend of the CJI