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SC appoints retired judge AK Patnaik to probe ‘conspiracy’ against CJI Ranjan Gogoi

The apex court also directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla and IB Chief Rajiv Jain to cooperate with Justice Patnaik in the probe.

SNS | New Delhi | Updated :

Ordering an investigation into the alleged conspiracy against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, the Supreme Court on Thursday appointed retired judge AK Patnaik to head the inquiry to probe lawyer Utsav Bains’ allegations.

The apex court also directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla and IB Chief Rajiv Jain to cooperate with Justice AK Patnaik in the probe.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court examined a fresh affidavit by advocate Utsav Bains, who has alleged a conspiracy against the Chief Justice after a former Supreme Court staffer alleged sexual harassment.

The Supreme Court observed that some rich and powerful people want to control its functioning, as it heard for the third time the matter related to allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

The allegations of “bench fixing are so serious that it requires investigation”, said the judges.

“People with money power are trying to run the registry of the top court…this is a really serious matter…people can be killed or maligned if the truth is brought forth…” the court further observed.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bains submitted the proof before the court and said, “I have a CCTV footage, which is real evidence. I am submitting this in court. The accused and the mastermind is very powerful”.

Following this, the court said it was concerned about the contents of the affidavit filed by the lawyer and summoned the Directors of CBI and IB and the Delhi Police Commissioner to meet in the chamber.

Utsav Bains had on Monday filed an affidavit in which he claimed that he was offered Rs 1.5 crore to represent the former apex court woman employee who levelled the allegation against the CJI.

Bains also said that he was asked to arrange a presser against the CJI at the Press Club of India in New Delhi. He said that he had found loopholes in the case.

In the unprecedented hearing on Saturday, the CJI had said a larger conspiracy was behind it and that he would not stoop too low even to deny these allegations.

CJI Gogoi has been accused of sexual assault by a former officer who worked as a junior assistant at the Supreme Court between May 2014 and December 2018.