New Delhi: The Supreme Court has summoned advocate Utsav Bains today to corroborate his contention that three former employees of the apex court came together to frame the Chief Justice of India (CJI) with the help of some powerful lobbyists. The SC has asked Bains to file an affidavit by 10.30 AM before it hears the case.
On Wednesday, the top court had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Delhi Police chiefs to appear before it and meet in chambers the judges hearing the lawyer’s claim of a larger conspiracy to frame CJI Ranjan Gogoi on allegations of sexual harassment. The three-judge special bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta met the CBI and IB directors and the Delhi Police commissioner in secret.
“It is not an inquiry. We are meeting these officers in secret. We don’t want any evidence to be disclosed,” the bench had stated. On April 23, a panel headed by Justice S A Bobde, including two Supreme Court judges, was set up to conduct an in-house inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations leveled against the CJI by the former woman staff. Justice Bobde, who is the senior-most judge of the SC after the CJI, had said, “I decided to have Justice N V Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Indira Banerjee as she is a woman judge.”
Sexual harassment allegations had cropped up against the CJI on April 20 when a former apex court staffer alleged that she was sexually harassed and was then terminated from her post. The victim had also mentioned in her affidavit that she was continuously harassed until her termination which led to a frivolous FIR filed in March this year against her and her family.
The CJI denied the allegations, and called it a ‘conspiracy to destabilise judiciary’. Dismissing the allegations, Gogoi had said that he was hurt with the ‘baseless charges’ and that this was being leveled against him with an intention to malign his image.
The Supreme Court Employees Welfare Association (SCEWA) came out in support of Gogoi. In fact, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) held that the unprecedented hearing by a three-judge bench following sexual harassment allegations against the CJI was a “violation of the procedure established by law”.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also defended Gogoi through his blog post saying that a set of “institution disruptors” have launched an attack on the CJI based on “completely unverified allegations”.