Justice SA Bobde, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, has been appointed to conduct an in-house inquiry into sexual harassment allegations levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
When contacted, Justice Bobde, who is next to the CJI in seniority, confirmed the development. He said being the number two judge, the Chief Justice of India has appointed him to look into the allegations of sexual harassment charges levelled against him by a former woman staff.
Justice Bobde said that he has decided to form a panel by inducting two apex court judges - Justice N V Ramana and Justice Indira Banerjee.
"I decided to have Justice Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Banerjee as she is a woman judge," Justice Bobde said.
Earlier, the top court issued notice to lawyer Utsav Bains, who in an affidavit had claimed that he was allegedly offered Rs 1.5 crore to falsely implicate the Chief Justice of India in a sexual assault case. However, despite filing the affidavit, Bains didn't turn up before the top court. Hence, the apex court issued a summon to Bains to be present in the court at 10:30 am tomorrow. The court has also directed him to produce the documents in support of para 17 and 20 to the affidavit.
In para 17 of the affidavit, Bains said that, “That on 19thApril, 2019, a very reliable person, strictly on the condition of anonymity and in good faith, informed the Deponent about a corporate figure who tried to approach a Hon’ble Supreme Court judge to get a favourable order in a high-profile case listed before this Hon’ble Court but was unsuccessful and then the said corporate figure attempted to get the case transferred from the court of that Hon’ble Supreme Court judge but did not succeed and thus ganged up with an alleged fixer by the name of Romesh Sharma and his aides to frame the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in a false case of sexual harassment to pressurize him to resign.”
In para 20, the lawyer said that, “That it is pertinent to mention here that the Deponent is privy to certain events involving the said corporate figure and will submit in a sealed cover the events and list of the involved persons to this Hon’ble Court should it so direct him.”
What is more startling are the allegations in para 28 of the affidavit. Bains had claimed that India’s ‘Most Wanted’ underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is behind the ‘conspiracy of false sexual assault case.’