Sexual charges against CJI: SC seeks response from lawyer

CJI Ranjan Gogoi

New Delhi:┬áThe Supreme Court today sought response from a lawyer, who had made a sensational claim that there was a conspiracy to make CJI Ranjan Gogoi resign by ‘framing him’ in a false case of sexual harassment.

A three-judge special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra issued notice to lawyer Utsav Singh Bains and sought his response with regard to his claim that he was also offered Rs 1.5 crore to represent a former apex court woman employee and arrange a presser against the CJI at the Press Club of India here.

The bench, which also comprised Justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta, has now fixed the case titled as a matter of ‘great public importance touching upon the independence of judiciary’, for hearing tomorrow at 10:30 am.

The lawyer had filed an affidavit on Monday following the unprecedented hearing on Saturday during which the CJI had said a larger conspiracy was behind it and that he would not stoop too low even to deny these allegations.

Bains has said, in his affidavit, that he was shocked to hear the allegations and was willing to represent the complainant.

“But when the said Ajay further narrated the entire sequence of events and facts of the case, the Deponent was not convinced and found several loopholes in the said Ajay’s version of events,” the affidavit has said.

The lawyer then sought an interaction with the complainant to verify the claims, it has said, adding the meeting was denied which gave rise to the suspicion.

“That, when the Deponent outright refused the said bribe of Rs 50 lakh offered by the said Ajay to frame the CJI, the said Ajay then increased the sum to Rs 1.5 crore to the Deponent following which the Deponent asked him to immediately leave his office,” the affidavit has said.

“The Deponent was informed by reliable sources that certain ‘Fixers’, who claim to be engaged in illegally managing judgements in exchange for cash are behind this plot as the CJI has taken decisive action to crack down on such fixers,” the affidavit has claimed.

In the hurriedly called hearing on Saturday after the allegations had cropped up, the apex court had said independence of judiciary was under ‘very serious threat’ and ‘unscrupulous allegations’ of sexual harassment have been levelled against the Chief Justice of India as some ‘bigger force’ wanted to ‘deactivate’ the office of the CJI.