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Retired judge to probe claims of conspiracy against Chief Justice: SC

The Supreme Court had set up the three-judge bench led by Justice Arun Mishra last week to take up an affidavit filed by a lawyer who alleged a conspiracy to frame Chief Justice of India.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2019 16:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chief Justice,Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi,Ranjan Gogoi
The Supreme Court has told chiefs of CBI, Delhi Police and the intelligence bureau to assist ex-SC judge AK Patnaik to probe claims of conspiracy against Chief Justice.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Retired Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik will probe claims of a larger conspiracy to frame the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday and told the lawyer who first spoke about the alleged conspiracy that he cannot withhold any information this inquiry.

The three-judge bench chaired by Justice Arun Mishra, which has been hearing lawyer Utsav Bains for the last few days, has also ordered chiefs of CBI, intelligence bureau and the Delhi police to assist the former SC judge to establish the facts.

The lawyer had alleged there was a conspiracy against the Chief Justice to “force him to resign and to threaten every judge of the Supreme Court”. It had also spoken about other issues linked to the top court’s functioning including collusion at administrative levels with some lawyers.

Justice Arun Mishra, who chairs the three-judge bench, had yesterday expressed concern at claims that “fixers” were at work and manipulating the judiciary. “If they continue to work then none of us will survive… Fixing has no role to play in the system,” Justice Mishra had said.

The Supreme Court had reinforced this concern at Thursday’s hearing and before mandating a probe by the retired judge, also sought to send a sharp message.

‘Don’t play with fire… We want to send a message to people of the country, the rich and powerful that they cannot control or run this court,” Justice Arun Mishra said.

The observation was directed at people, who a lawyer claimed, were also involved in influencing the decision to refer a case to a particular judge, or as the court put it, “bench fixing”.

First Published: Apr 25, 2019 14:21 IST