The Supreme Court has today ordered that a former SC judge Justice A K Patnaik hold an inquiry regarding the alleged conspiracy by disgruntled employees and fixers to malign CJI Gogoi. The bench which passed the order consisted of Justices Arun Misra, RF Nariman, and Deepak Gupta.
The Court in its order instructed the chiefs of CBI, Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau to provide assistance to Justice Patnaik in his inquiry. Rejecting the claim of privilege raised by Advocate Utsav Bains, the court has ordered him to divulge all information regarding the issue to the probe team.
The probe was ordered after Bains had filed an affidavit in the suo moto proceedings initiated by the Court claiming that the sexual harassment allegations against CJI are part of a larger conspiracy by ‘fixers’ and dissatisfied employees to implicate the CJI, as he sought to end the ‘cash for judgment’ racket. He also stated that he was offered Rs.1.5 crores by an SC fixer for that purpose.
Contending that powerful people can’t and will not be allowed to meddle into the functioning of the apex court, Justice Arun Mishra said that the time has come to act against them. “It is time to tell the rich and mighty that they cannot run the SC. They are playing with fire,” the statement said.
The apex court has asserted said that the inquiry about the allegations of conspiracy will not deal with the allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI. It reassured that the outcome of the inquiry will have no bearing on the in-house committee which is dealing with the accusation against the CJI.
The court also said that on the completion of the inquiry, Retd Justice Patnaik will file a report in a sealed envelope to the court after which the matter will be heard again. The hearing on this inquiry is going to be held in parallel with the hearing of the in-house committee report on the allegations of sexual harassment. Many prominent women lawyers have raised concerns claiming that this might influence the proceedings of the court.