‘Will enquire, enquire and enquire’: SC on alleged conspiracy against CJI
The Supreme Court told lawyer Utsav Bains to file another affidavit after he claimed access to more incriminating evidence about the larger conspiracy against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and the judges
The Supreme Court on Wednesday signaled its determination to get to the bottom of the claims by a lawyer who alleged there was a larger conspiracy to force Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to resign and threaten every top court judge.
“We shall enquire, enquire and enquire till we get to the root of the issue,” a three-judge bench said on Wednesday afternoon, hours after the judges summoned chiefs of the federal probe and intelligence agencies as well as Delhi Police.
“We requested the Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, to report to this Court and requested them to seize the relevant material in order to support the contents of the affidavit furnished by the officer of the Court, Mr. Utsav Singh Bains, Advocate,” the top court said in its order.
The lawyer had filed an affidavit alleging there was a “conspiracy against the Chief Justice to force him to resign and threaten every judge of the Supreme Court”.
A bench led by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising justices Rohintan Fali Nariman and Deepak Gupta, which is hearing this case, did not reveal the “sensitive” details from the affidavit. But it later underlined that he had named certain people and alleged that “they have asserted that they could fix the Bench of the Judges”.
The affidavit also said that some “disgruntled (court) employees” who had recently been sacked had ganged up to frame the Chief Justice of India in a false charge of sexual harassment.
“We will inquire and go to the root of alleged claims of fixers 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. We will inquire and take it to the logical end,” said the bench led by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising justices Rohintan Fali Nariman and Deepak Gupta.
The lawyer’s allegation about a larger conspiracy to target the country’s senior-most judges coincides with a sexual harassment case filed by a former court staffer against Chief Justice Gogoi. The country’s top judge had last week held a special hearing where he had referred to the complaint and described it as an attempt to deactivate the office of the CJI. The Chief Justice has since then set up a three-judge committee led by Justice SA Bobde to look into the sexual harassment accusation that he faces. This panel will meet on Friday.
Justice Arun Mishra clarified that there was no connection between Wednesday’s hearing into the lawyer’s allegations of a conspiracy against the CJI and the three-judge panel’s probe into harassment charge.
Earlier during the court, Justice Mishra had lauded the Chief Justice for sacking two court clerks who had made changes to a court order on the personal appearance of a corporate tycoon. “This has been happening but no Chief Justice had the courage to take such action. But now action was being taken without fear,” he said, according to news agency PTI.