CJI sexual harassment case: SC ‘anguished’ with way judiciary being treated

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today expressed anguish over the ‘systematic attack’ on the judiciary and said time has come to tell the rich and powerful of this country that they are ‘playing with fire’ and this must stop.

The apex court was hearing claims made by an advocate that there was a larger conspiracy to frame Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogi on allegations of sexual harassment. The court said it will pass an order at 2 pm.

A special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that it was anguished with the way the judiciary has been treated for the past 3-4 years.

“The way this institution is treated in last few years we must say that we will not survive if this will happen,” a bench also comprising Justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta said. “There is a systematic attack, systematic game to malign this institution,” the bench said.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court warned the lawyer that he will be ‘thrown out of the court’ after taking umbrage at his remarks that Attorney General K K Venugopal was ‘personally targeting’ him during the hearing on his claims of fixing and manipulation in the top judiciary.

Special three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra told advocate Utsav Singh Bains, who has filed an affidavit alleging ‘larger conspiracy’ to frame Chief Justice, that Venugopal is one of the most respected members of the bar and he should also must respect him.

“You (Bains) must know that we learn from him (Venugopal). You must respect him,” the bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta, told Bains. When Bains reiterated that Venugopal was attacking him personally, an irked Justice Nariman said, “You must not have even an iota of doubt on him. He never attacks anyone personally. He is the most respected member of the bar. We also learn from him.”

“..otherwise we will throw you out of the court,” Justice Nariman told the counsel, adding, “he (Venugopal) is a true gentleman.”