The Supreme Court will give orders at 2 pm today whether investigations are required to probe the charges made by lawyer Utsav Bains that the sexual harassment allegations levelled against the CJI by a female ex court staffer were part of a conspiracy.
The court on Thursday said that the last four years has seen a systematic attack on the institution . Asserting that powerful people can’t and will not be allowed to run the top court, a three-judge bench led by Justice Arun Mishra said that time has come to act against them. “The day has come to tell the rich and mighty that they cannot run the SC. They are playing with fire,” the court said. Bains had alleged on Wednesday that two former courtmasters who were sacked for tampering an order in a case related to Anil Ambani, were involved in the plot to frame the CJI together with the female court staffer. This morning , he handed over to the SC bench a sealed envelope which he was asked to do yeste5rday, to substantiate his charges.
The court said about four to five per cent lawyers were bringing a “bad name to this great institution”. Calling the charges “highly sensitive”, the court on Wednesday had met the chiefs of CBI, Intelligence Bureau and Delhi Police. The entire episode is “very disturbing” as it concerns the independence of the judiciary, the Bench observed.
The three-judge special bench said if fixers continue to work and manipulate the judiciary as claimed, neither this institution not any of them would survive.
The court had also made it clear that the process of verifying the authenticity of Bains’ claims would in no way hinder the in-house probe being conducted by a three-judge bench comprising justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana and Indira Banerjee.
Bains’ first affidavit had said “he was informed by reliable sources that certain fixers, who claim to be engaged in illegally managing judgements in exchange for cash are behind this plot as the Honourable CJI has taken decisive action to crack down on such fixers”.
The woman, who has brought the sexual harassment allegations against the CJI, is a 35-year-old dismissed Supreme Court staff. She has expressed “fear and apprehensions” on Wednesday before the in-house committee, saying her character had been damaged even before the inquiry had begun.
–India Legal Bureau