Guwahati, April 24, 2019
The advocate Utsav Bains who made claims that he was offered money to frame CJI Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case, on April 24th, 2019 said in a hearing in the court that the mastermind behind the conspiracy is one of the biggest corporate in the country. Bains also claimed that the said corporate has in the past bribed and intimidated witnesses.
The Supreme Court asked advocate Bains to file an additional affidavit to substantiate his allegation that three disgruntled employees of the Supreme Court conspired along with corporate lobbyists to frame sexual harassment allegations against the CJI. Bains handed over materials to the Court in a sealed cover. He said that the materials contained a CCTV footage which will reveal “many things”, as reported by livelaw.in.
It may be mentioned, a special bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, and Deepak Gupta was formed on April 23rd, 2019 to hear the sexual allegations against CJI Gogoi. The bench had issued a notice to advocate Bains to be present in the hearing.
CJI Gogoi has been accused of sexual assault by a former officer who worked as a junior assistant at the Supreme Court between May 2014 and December 2018.
The bench after watching the CCTV footages submitted by the lawyer to substantiate his conspiracy claims to the top court on April 24th, 2019, the court has summoned the Delhi Police chief, IB and CBI chiefs.
The apex court said that meeting the chiefs is not an inquiry and the meeting was a secret which took place at 12:30 pm. Meanwhile, Bains has demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter. The Supreme Court has also asked the police to ensure protection for Bains.
The Supreme Court has also cause list for the Chief Justice court, on April 24th, 2019, showed that the bench headed by CJI Gogoi, comprising of justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna would assemble and start hearing cases listed before it only after the sexual harassment case against Gogoi is heard for the day in court room no. 4.
Criminal intimidation case
A fresh case of criminal intimidation under Section 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC has been lodged against the woman who levelled charges of sexual harassment against CJI Ranjan Gogoi. Delhi Police has also demanded that her bail application be rejected on grounds that she violated the bail terms and she is now threatening witnesses.
Meanwhile, in a precedent-setting decision, Justice S A Bobde, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was appointed to conduct an in-house inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against CJI Gogoi.
The woman who levelled allegations of sexual harassment has raised some “concerns and apprehensions” about the enquiry committee constituted to probe her charges.
Justice Bobde told PTI that he has decided to form a panel by inducting two apex court judges – N V Ramana and Indira Banerjee. Justice Bobde said being the number two judge, the CJI has appointed him to look into the allegations of sexual harassment charges levelled by a former woman staffer.
On the other hand, the woman who levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has raised some “concerns and apprehensions” about the enquiry committee constituted to probe her charges.
In full support
The All Assam Students’ Union came out in support of CJI Gogoi, against whom sexual harassment allegations have been levelled. The students’ body stated that the charges were baseless and part of a conspiracy.
In a statement, Bhattacharya and the organisation’s president Dipankar Nath said the allegations have surfaced at a time when the CJI was hearing several important cases, including the update of the National Register of Citizens.