Supreme Court of India
File photo of Supreme Court of India | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday appointed retired justice A.K. Patnaik to head a judicial inquiry into the contents of the affidavit filed by advocate Utsav Bains alleging a conspiracy to frame Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case.

The three-judge bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta further directed the chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), along with the Delhi Commissioner of Police, to assist Patnaik in the investigation.

The top court clarified that Patnaik would only look into the allegations of corruption in the judiciary, and not into the allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI.

The court said Bains won’t be to able to claim privilege under the Evidence Act, and directed him to submit all documents.

The order comes just days after the judiciary was hit by allegations of corruption.

Allegations and top court

In an affidavit filed Monday, Bains submitted that the sexual harassment allegations leveled against Gogoi were a conspiracy by “fixers” and former disgruntled employees to oust the chief justice.

Bains also submitted that he was approached by a fixer to “frame” the CJI.

His allegations came three days after a former top court employee wrote to 22 Supreme Court judges alleging that the CJI sexually harassed her while she was posted at his residence.

A day later, the CJI assembled a special three-judge bench to probe the matter and denied all charges against him.

In a hearing Wednesday, concerns were raised about inquiries in the two separate cases — conspiracy against CJI and sexual harassment charges against him — overlapping.

However, the bench said that the priority was to find the identity and existence of the “fixers”.

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