The Supreme Court on Thursday has appointed its retired judge Justice AK Patnaik, to probe allegations of disgruntled employees ganging up against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to frame him on false sexual harassment charges.
A special bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta said, “We want to find out whether there are ex-employees (of SC), fixers and middlemen involved. This is a serious allegation that there is bench fixing. This probe is independent of the administrative side inquiry into the sexual harassment complaint (by a dismissed woman employee). This probe is completely separate from that. Outcome of this inquiry shall not affect the in-house procedure/inquiry which is pending in the administrative side”.
The bench passed this order in the suo motu proceedings in context to the “matter of great public importance touching upon the independence of the judiciary.”
Considering the affidavits filed by Mr Utsav Singh Bains, the bench said, “we appoint Justice AK Patnaik, a retired judge of this court, to hold an inquiry into the allegations made in the affidavits. However, at the same time, we make it clear that this inquiry shall not be with respect to the alleged misbehaviour involving the Chief Justice of India. This is with respect to the content of the affidavits, whether the affidavits are correct or not.”
“we request the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the director of the Intelligence Bureau and the commissioner of police, Delhi, to cooperate with the honourable judge as and when their services are required at any point of time for the purpose of investigation of the matter… We leave it to the honourable judge to take the assistance of whosoever else His Lordship desires”, added the bench.