[dropcap]A[/dropcap] three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta today appointed a former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice A K Patnaik to hold an enquiry into allegations made in affidavits by an advocate, Utsav Bains, alleging that the sexual harassment complaints against the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justice Ranjan Gogoi were a part of a larger conspiracy by ‘fixers and plotters’ to frame him.
The Supreme Court has also made it clear that this enquiry by Justice Patnaik would not be with respect to the alleged misbehaviour involving CJI Gogoi and that the outcome of the enquiry would not affect the in-house procedure which is pending on the administrative side.
The Apex Court has also asked the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, to cooperate with Justice Patnaik as and when their services are required for the investigation.
The court also rejected the claim of privilege over the disclosure of certain documents put forward by Bains. It noted “without production of the information, the court cannot be deprived of inspecting the document. The ground raised by Mr. Utsav Singh Bains as to privilege is wholly unsustainable. He is bound to disclose the information as may be required”.
Hours after the sexual harassment charges against CJI Gogoi surfaced in the media, a Facebook post by Bains went viral, where he claimed he was “offered a bribe” to frame the CJI and that the charges against the senior most judge of the Supreme Court was a “conspiracy”.