New Delhi: Justice NV Ramana has recused himself from the panel investigating the case of sexual abuse on Chief Justice (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi. On Thursday, a special bench dealt with the “bench-fixing” issue. The top court said that it would be headed by retired Justice AK Patnaik. It said the fixers would be sent to jail.
The court directed the CBI director and the IB chief to cooperate with Justice Patnaik. The special bench is hearing lawyer Utsav Bains’s claim. Bains had made a sensational claim recently, saying that the CJI had been framed under a conspiracy against the judiciary. It involves a large corporate house, he had said.
Supreme Court also asked the CBI Director and the IB Chief to co-operate with Justice AK Patnaik. https://t.co/OD3xQvdHXT
— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2019
Bains presented a second affidavit on Thursday, following yesterday’s court order, before the special bench of three judges headed by Justice Arun Mishra that is hearing the case. The court said in a familiar tone that if “bench fixing” was going on in the court indeed, it should end for all times to come. From the way the allegations are being made for the last three or four years, the institution of the judiciary will end, the bench said.
The rich and the powerful think they will run the court with remote control, the bench observed. “They are playing with fire,” the court said and added it will send the bench fixers to jail.
About 4% or 5% of lawyers of the Supreme Court’s are spoiling the name of the great institution, the bench observed. The case of bench-fixing is serious and will be investigated, the judges added.
Bains furnishes evidence against ‘bench fixers’
During the hearing on Wednesday, Bains handed the evidence to the court in a sealed envelope. There was also some CCTV footage. The lawyer said it was the conspiracy of a large corporate house. The lawyer had given another sealed envelope to the court and said that two of conspirators had met him.
The court wanted to know who the fixer is. Justice Arun Mishra said that the court was above every individual judge. If there is a fixing racket in the Supreme Court, “we will go to its root,” he said. “We want to know who is the fixer?” he added.
The bench directed the IB chief, the Delhi Police commissioner and the CBI director to meet in the chamber.
Earlier, the internal inquiry committee, headed by Justice SA Bobde, served a summons to the woman who accused the CJI. She is supposed to appear before the court on 26 April.
Safety of the lawyer
Bains had told the court about the danger to his security. Following this, the bench of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice RF Nariman and Justice Deepak Gupta directed the Delhi Police commissioner to provide adequate security to the lawyer.
The court said today that the security provided to the lawyer would continue.
‘Was offered Rs 1.5 crore to frame CJI’
Lawyer Utsav Bains had filed an affidavit in the court saying that a person named Ajay had offered him Rs 1.5 crore to lobby on behalf of the woman accusing the CJI.
Bains said that this person had also asked for a press conference against the CJI in the Press Club.
The lawyer claimed further that a very reliable person had told him that a corporate person had approached a judge of the Supreme Court to decide on his behalf. When he failed, the man tried to transfer the case to the judge’s court.
Bains said in the affidavit when this corporate person failed, he conspired in collaboration with fixers to fabricate a false allegation against the CJI so that pressure could be built on him to resign.