The bench of Justices Arun Mishra, R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta called for a meeting of CBI Director, Delhi Police Commissioner and the Chief of Intelligence Bureau at the judges' chambers at 12.30 PM today to decide on the investigation to see if there was a larger conspiracy to malign the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and thereby to attack judicial independence.
Advocate Utsav Bains, who had claimed that the sexual harassment allegations against the CJI was part of a plot by corporate houses and fixers to compel the CJI to resign, was present in Court today. Bains handed over materials to the Court in a sealed cover. He said that the materials contained a CCTV footage which will reveal "many things".
At this, the Attorney General K K Venugopal said that there was a significant departure in his affidavit from the allegations in the FB post made by him earlier. The FB post by him had alleged that a "lobby of disgruntled judges" was also part of this plot, in addition to corporate scamsters and corrupt politicians. This mention of "lobby of disgruntled judges" was omitted in the affidavit.
Bains responded sharply to this allegation and said that he was "disappointed" by the division in the bar and "cheap allegations".
Bains : this is a very serious allegation by the AG. I am absolutely disappointed. Bar is divided. Even the Haryana Group. I am thinking of leaving the profession. I have never seen such cheap allegations— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) April 24, 2019
Bains : this is a very serious allegation by the AG. I am absolutely disappointed. Bar is divided. Even the Haryana Group. I am thinking of leaving the profession. I have never seen such cheap allegations
The bench perused the materials handed over by Bains and observed that the matter was serious.
"CJI Gogoi was trying to clean up the system. No CJI has shown the courage to take action against certain elements. He was acting without fear of anyone", Justice Mishra said, expressing solidarity with the CJI.
The Solicitor General Thushar Mehta submitted that a Special Investigation Team has to be constituted by the Court to find out the truth regarding Bains's affidavit.
The bench observed that matter raised "serious issues about the independence of judiciary" and called for a meeting of CBI Director, Delhi Police Commissioner and IB Chief at chambers at 12.30 PM.
The bench also observed that police protection to Bains should be continued.
The bench will reassemble at 3 PM today.