New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday 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 a lawyer’s claims of a larger conspiracy to frame Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on allegations of sexual harassment. Also Read - Supreme Court To Start 'Hybrid Mode' Hearings on Experimental Basis From March 15
The three-judge special bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising justices RF Nariman and Deepak Gupta, said it will meet the CBI and IB directors and the Delhi Police commissioner in “secret”. Also Read - There Should be Some Screening: Supreme Court Seeks OTT Regulations From Centre
“It is not an enquiry. We are meeting these officers in secret. We don’t want any evidence to be disclosed,” the bench said. Also Read - Dissent Cannot be Termed Seditious, Says Supreme Court; Junks Plea Against Farooq Abdullah
The bench directed that the officers will meet the judges in chamber at 12:30 pm and the bench will reassemble to hear the matter again at 3 pm.
The lawyer, Utsav Singh Bains, has submitted a report in the Supreme Court regarding his claims that there was a conspiracy to frame the CJI in a sexual harassment case.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, a panel headed by Justice SA Bodbe, including two Supreme Court judges, was set up to conduct an in-house inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations levelled against the CJI by a former woman staff. The first hearing in connection with the matter will be conducted on Friday.
“I decided to have Justice NV Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Indira Banerjee as she is a woman judge,” Justice Bobde, the senior-most judge of the SC after the CJI, told PTI.
Allegations of sexual harassment had cropped up against the CJI on April 20 prompting him to convene an urgent extraordinary hearing in which he asserted that the charges by a former apex court staffer were “unbelievable” and part of a conspiracy by some “bigger force” to “deactivate” the CJI’s office. As the allegations by the former woman staffer who had worked at Justice Gogoi’s home office in Delhi and dating back to October stunned the judiciary, the CJI had said he would not stoop too low, even to deny them.
The Chief Justice of India had denied the allegations, and called it a ‘conspiracy to destabilise judiciary’. Dismissing the allegations, Gogoi said that he was hurt with the ‘baseless charges’. He added the charges being levelled against him were intended to malign his image.
(Inputs from PTI)