Supreme Court Orders Inquiry Into Utsav Bains’ Claims Of Alleged Conspiracy Against Chief Justice
The Supreme Court appointed Retired Justice AK Patnaik to inquire the allegations of Delhi-based lawyer Utsav Bains that there was a conspiracy to frame Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on sexual harassment charges.
Justice Patnaik will be assisted by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Delhi Police and the Intelligence Bureau, the top court said in its order.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, asked Justice Patnaik to submit the report in a sealed cover. The next hearing will take place after the inquiry is completed, it said.
The court’s order also clarified that Justice Patnaik will not be looking into the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice Gogoi. Those allegations, it said, will be probed by the in-house inquiry panel headed by Justice SA Bobde.
The top court passed its order after hearing the lawyer who made the sensational claims. Bains had claimed that he was approached with a bribe to organise a press conference for the court employee who alleged Justice Gogoi of sexual harassment. He also claimed that certain fixers, businesspersons and politicians were involved in a conspiracy to frame the judge.
An affidavit, filed by Bains in a sealed cover, based on the judges’ conversation in open court, indicated that two dismissed court masters—Tapan Chakraborty and Manav Sharma—were part of the conspiracy. Chakraborty and Sharma were dismissed in February and later arrested in April. While the Supreme Court has not made public the reasons for their dismissal, it has been reported that they were accused of altering a judicial order to benefit a large corporate.