Justice Patnaik Completes Probe Into ‘Larger Conspiracy’ Against Chief Justice Gogoi
A Supreme Court-appointed one-man panel, holding inquiry into allegations of “larger conspiracy” to frame Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, has completed its task and is likely to submit the report by mid-September.
Sources said Tuesday that Justice AK Patnaik, a retired Supreme Court judge who was appointed by the apex court, examined advocate Utsav Singh Bains.
Bains had made several allegations including fixing of benches in the Supreme Court.
“The affidavit filed by Bains and other documents were examined by the panel. Now, the panel will complete the report and submit it to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover by second week of September,” said a source.
Justice Patnaik examined the lawyer from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and his statement was recorded.
“The lawyer (Bains) was examined Tuesday by the panel for roughly two hours. He had come to the office of Justice Patnaik,” the sources said.
The top court had on April 25 constituted the panel to hold inquiry into the allegations of Bains and had asked the Directors of Central Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence Bureau as also the Delhi Police Commissioner to cooperate with Justice Patnaik as and when required by him.
A special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had said that on the completion of inquiry, Justice Patnaik will file a report in a sealed cover before the court after which the matter will be heard again.
It, however, had said the inquiry will not deal with the allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI, levelled by an ex-employee of the top court.
On May 6, Justice Gogoi got the clean chit from the Supreme Court’s in-house inquiry committee which “found no substance” in the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him.
The in-house inquiry committee was headed by Justice SA Bobde and comprised of two woman judges of the apex court—Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.
The top court had earlier 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”.
The court had observed this while hearing claims made by Bains that there was a “larger conspiracy” to frame the Chief Justice.