The Supreme Court on Wednesday said "fixing" has no place in the judiciary and it will go to "the bottom of the conspiracy" to identify those involved as it heard a case pertaining to conspiracy to frame the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case.
A bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, took a very serious note of advocate Utsav Bains'' affidavit, which claimed that conspiracy of levelling an allegation of sexual harassment against the CJI was hatched by two apex court staffers recently sacked in connection with Ericsson case order.
The staffers were charged with tampering with the court''s order, in collusion with powerful corporate lobbyists linked with the "cash for judgment" in the Supreme Court.
As at the beginning of the second phase of hearing at 3 p.m., Bains handed over some documents to the bench, senior advocate Indira Jaising sought to know the nature of these documents. The bench, however, said that these documents were highly confidential and it may not be appropriate to let her know about it.
Bains told the court that the two conspirators have met in person and he was waiting for it to happen. He responded positively when Justice Mishra inquired if he was carrying a mobile phone.
The SC bench, which had earlier met the chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police and shared the details of Bains'' affidavit, said that a decision on ordering of high level probe regarding the conspiracy will be taken on Thursday. Bains will file an additional affidavit in the court on Thursday.
Justice Mishra said that Bains will have to corroborate his contentions regarding former SC employees hatching a conspiracy in collusion with some powerful lobbyists. If Bains fails, then the court could begin proceedings against him too, he added.
"Fixing has no role in the judiciary....we will go after these fixers in the court... We want to get to the root of this matter. Identify, who are these people playing with the judiciary....the information regarding fixing circle in the Supreme Court has come from an advocate. There needs to be an inquiry into this," he said.
At this, Jaising said she is "deeply concerned" and expressed concern that this hearing might prejudice the proceedings before the SC panel probing the complaint filed by the "victim".
Justice Mishra, however, stressed that both are independent enquiries and not inter-linked. "In this, we are only on this affidavit which has raised serious issues pertaining to integrity and independence of the institution," he told Jaising.
Stressing allegations have been made regarding fixing in the apex court, the bench said: "We need to address this fraud... we like the Attorney General to assist the bench....we need to get to the bottom of this conspiracy."
It also ordered the police should continue to provide protection to Bains.
The matter is listed for further hearing on Thursday.
(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at email@example.com)
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