CJI Sexual Harassment Case: SC Summons CBI, Police & IB Chiefs.

Vishal Chauhan, 24/04/2019
CJI Sexual Harassment Case: SC Summons CBI, Police & IB Chiefs.

The hearing in the suo motu case initiated following allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is being heard at the Supreme Court.

The matter, posted before a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta, will next be taken up at 10:30 am on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the bench summoned the Delhi Police Commissioner, CBI Director and IB chief and asked them to assemble in the judges' chambers to discuss allegations levelled by Advocate Utsav Bains, that a 'larger conspiracy' is afoot to frame CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

Meanwhile, a separate apex court panel headed by Justice SA Bobde – constituted to look into sexual harassment allegations against the CJI – has issued notice to the woman who has lodged the complaint, reported Live Law.

The panel conducting the in-house inquiry, which also includes Justices Ramana and Indira Banerjee, has asked her to be present on 26 April.

A three-judge special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had issued a notice to Bains and sought his response with regard to his claim that he was also offered Rs 1.5 crore to represent a former apex court woman employee and arrange a presser against the CJI at the Press Club of India.

Snapshot

  • Gogoi earlier termed the allegations a “very, very serious threat to independence of judiciary”
  • A 35-year-old woman submitted an affidavit to 22 judges of the SC, outlining how Gogoi sexually harassed her
  • CJI-led bench asks media to show restraint in the matter

4:02 PM, 24 Apr

Bains' Hearing Won't Prejudice Bobde Panel: SC

Responding to the request of senior advocate Indira Jaising, the Supreme Court bench clarified that the ongoing proceedings in response to Bains affidavit wouldn't prejudice or interfere with the probe undertaken by the Justice Bobde-led panel into the sexual harassment allegations against the CJI.

3:49 PM, 24 Apr

Matter to be heard at 10:30 am on Thursday

The Bench will take up the matter next at 10:30 am on Thursday, 25 April.

The court asked advocate Utsav Bains to corroborate his contentions that three former employees of SC came together to frame the CJI with the help of some powerful lobbyists. Bains has been directed to file another affidavit on Thursday.

Justice Mishra, while dictating the court order, said: "It becomes our responsibility to keep the institution clean."

Mishra also requested the presence of KK Venugopal and other members of the bar to help the court decide on the issue of privilege over disclosure of documents claimed by Bains.

3:35 PM, 24 Apr

Seek Affidavit from Bains' About His Credentials: Jaising

Senior advocate Indira Jaising asked the Supreme Court bench to seek an affidavit from Utsav Bains about his own credentials.

Doubts were raised about Bains’ credentials over the fact that he had arrived in the SC on Monday in a car which did not have the required stickers to enter the court.

Earlier, Justice Rohinton Nariman had warned Bains against making personal remarks in court.

“We will throw you out if you make any personal remarks against Attorney General KK Venugopal,” Nariman had said.

Following this, Bains had said that he is ‘walking out of the Court’ but Justice Arun Mishra stopped him.

3:35 PM, 24 Apr

How Can One Make Allegations, Then Produce Half Documents: Attorney General

Justice Mishra said that he wants advice from the Attorney General or others on whether Bains can claim privilege under the Advocates Act to withhold certain information in this matter, as he has claimed he needs to do.

The Attorney General, meanwhile, said: “I don't understand how can a person make allegations and then produces half documents in support and thereafter claims privilege over them from disclosure.”

3:24 PM, 24 Apr

Bains' Affidavit Shouldn't Prejudice Investigation Against CJI: Indira Jaising

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, speaking with the consent of the bench, said that while women lawyers were are also worried about the independence of the Judiciary, it should be ensured that Bains’ affidavit does not prejudice the investigation into allegations against the CJI.

“The investigation into Bains’ affidavit should not prejudice the investigation into the allegations against the CJI,” Jaising said.

She argued that the two investigations should take place together.

Responding to Jaising, Justice Nariman said that the ‘sexual harassment allegations aren't before this bench’.

Justice Arun Mishra, meanwhile, insisted that they have to look into Bains' affidavit properly. "Must go into root of the matter"

3:14 PM, 24 Apr

SC Bench Resumes Hearing

The Bench – comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta – has reassembled to examine the affidavit filed by advocate Utsav Bains, claiming he was offered a bribe to implicate the CJI.

Bains, meanwhile, handed over another document to the judges in a sealed cover.

He has also said that he has confirmation that two of the conspirators – to frame the CJI – had met, and that he will submit details of the same as well.

The judges have asked Bains to submit another affidavit by 10:30 am on Thursday.

12:58 PM, 24 Apr

Plea to Cancel Bail of Complainant to Be Heard on 3 May

The plea to cancel the bail of the woman, who accused CJI Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, will be heard by Patiala House Court on 3 May, reported ANI.

12:15 PM, 24 Apr

SC to Resume at 3:00 pm

Supreme Court to resume hearing at 3 pm, says it is “something very serious and disturbing” related to independence of judiciary.

12:08 PM, 24 Apr

In-House Probe over Sexual Harassment Complaint against CJI Will Continue: SC

The Supreme Court said that in-house probe on allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Gogoi will go on and another independent probe was needed to look into “larger conspiracy” on allegation to malign CJI.

11:52 AM, 24 Apr

Concerned More About Bains' Affidavit: Mishra

“Right now we should be concerned more about this affidavit,” says Justice Arun Mishra to Bains’ submission, as Senior Advocate indira Jaisingh mentions the affidavit filed by the complainant against CJI.

11:49 AM, 24 Apr

Police Protection to Bains to Continue

Justice Mishra says that police protection to Utsav Bains should continue.

Bains goes off on a rant about how he's being targeted, how sections of the bar are going after him. He also does not explain the change in his position.

11:46 AM, 24 Apr

Allegations Must Be Investigated by SIT: Tushar Mehta

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the allegations must be thoroughly investigated by an SIT under the supervision of Supreme Court, reported Live Law.

11:39 AM, 24 Apr

Justice Mishra Calls for CBI Officer

"Can you call a responsible police officer or CBI officer to our chambers today?"Justice Arun Mishra asks Attorney General KK Venugopal.

"There is a significant departure in his affidavit from his post," AG Venugopal said before the apex court, after reading Bains’ Facebook post, where he is alleging conspiracy.

11:35 AM, 24 Apr

Bains Submits Materials in Sealed Cover

Lawyer who claimed that there was a “conspiracy” against CJI Gogoi over sexual harassment allegations, said that he was submitting materials in sealed cover to the Supreme Court.

11:31 AM, 24 Apr

Bench Assembles to Hear Lawyer's "Conspiracy' Claim

Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta assembles, hearing commences.

11:06 AM, 24 Apr

Utsav Bains Arrives in Court

Lawyer Utsav Bains, who had made a sensational claim that there was a conspiracy to make CJI resign by "framing him" in a false case of sexual harassment, present in Court 4.

10:28 AM, 24 Apr

SC Panel Issues Notice to Complainant, Asks Her to Be Present on 26 April

The Supreme Court panel headed by Justice S A Bobde constituted to look into sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has issued notice to the woman who has lodged the complaint.

The panel conducting the in-house inquiry, which also includes Justices Ramana and Indira Banerjee, has asked her to be present on 26 April.

8:22 AM, 24 Apr

Probe against Woman Who Complained Against CJI Violated Natural Justice: Official

The probe into firing of the woman who alleged sexual harassment by CJI Gogoi was “riddled with irregularities and violates the principles of natural justice”, said the official who requested that he be allowed to defend her

Laxman Singh Negi, a senior assistant with the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, asserted that his request was ignored and the was not “given an opportunity” to defend herself.

He claimed that the woman not allowed to choose her defence, that the probe continued in her absence when she was ill and that the report was filed within 24 hours.

7:56 AM, 24 Apr

Justice Bobde to Probe Sexual Harassment Allegations against CJI

Justice S A Bobde, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was on Tuesday, 23 April, appointed to conduct an in-house inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment 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 by a former woman staff.

Justice Bobde told PTI that he has decided to form a panel by inducting two apex court judges – N V Ramana and Indira Banerjee.

2:35 PM, 23 Apr

SC Orders Delhi Police to Provide Security to Utsav Bains

The Supreme Court has also ordered the Delhi Police Commissioner to provide adequate security to advocate Utsav Bains, who has claimed that the CJI is being framed in the sexual harassment case.

10:42 AM, 23 Apr

Hearing Adjourned After Advocate Utsav Bains Skips Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 23 April, adjourned the hearing in the matter of the sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi after advocate Utsav Bains skipped the hearing. The case will be heard on Wednesday, 24 April, at 10:30 am.

Bains has been issued notice for personal appearance, will have to produce documents supporting the claims in his affidavit, that he was approached to conduct a press conference to frame the CJI.

10:16 AM, 23 Apr

Sexual Harassment Charges Against CJI: New Bench to Hear Matter

Amid criticism for the manner in which Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi called a special Supreme Court over sexual harassment complaint against himself, a three-judge bench led by Justice S A Bobde will hear the case on Tuesday, 23 April.

The apex court will consider an affidavit by advocate Utsav Bains where he alleged he was offered Rs 1.5 Cr to hold a press conference on charges against the CJI.

4:40 PM, 22 Apr

BJP to Scrap Article 370 in J&K, Introduce NRC Across Country: Shah

BJP president Amit Shah on Monday said his party will scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and introduce National Register for Citizens across the country after returning to power.

4:35 PM, 22 Apr

Allegation Against CJI to Be Dealt As Per Procedure: SCAORA

The Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA) on Monday expressed "deep reservation" against "procedural impropriety" shown by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in dealing with sexual harassment allegations against him and said the charges should be dealt with as per established procedure, reported news agency PTI.

In a resolution passed on Monday, the top court lawyers' body said, "The allegation of the ex-employee of the Supreme Court have to be dealt with as per the established procedure of law and law must be applied in each and every case uniformly".

10:21 PM, 20 Apr

Sexual Harassment Charges Against CJI Must Be Probed from Perspective of Both Sides: Cong MP

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda said the sexual harassment allegations levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi needs to be investigated from the perspective of both the sides, reports PTI.

It is imperative that justice is done to all parties concerned, appropriate procedures are followed and investigation conducted into the CJI's concern that there is some bigger force involved, he told reporters in Panaji.

4:58 PM, 20 Apr

'Common Thread' in Communications Sent to My Office by News Portals: CJI

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday, 20 April, said there was a "common thread" in the communications sent to him by four news portals that carried stories on allegation of sexual harassment against him, and suggested a "bigger force" could be behind the controversy to "deactivate" the office of the CJI.

The CJI, who was part of a hurriedly convened special bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, said the four news portals -- Scroll, The leaflet, Caravan and the Wire -- have carried the stories on the allegations, as reported by PTI.

"There is a common thread in the communications, and the questions I was asked to answer are common," he said, adding, "they (news portals) gave less than five hours notice to the CJI to respond".

3:48 PM, 20 Apr

'Nobody Can Catch Me on Money, So They've Found This': CJI

The CJI said that "unbelievable" allegations have been levelled against him and "I do not think I should stoop too low even to deny these allegations. But that comes after 20 years of selfless service as a judge".

"Nobody can catch me on money. People have to find something and they have found this," the CJI said, while making it clear that he has a bank balance of Rs 6.80 lakh apart from around Rs 40 lakh in provident fund after being in service for around two decades.

"I will sit on this chair and discharge my judicial functions without any fear. I will decide the cases in the seven months (of his remaining tenure as the CJI). I will do that," he said.

3:21 PM, 20 Apr

Bar Bodies Condemn 'Cooked Up' Allegations Against CJI

The Bar Council of India on Saturday, 20 April, condemned the "false and cooked-up" sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and said the entire bar was standing with the CJI, and against this "attempt to malign the institution".

"These are all false and cooked-up allegations and we condemn these kinds of acts. These kinds of allegations and actions should not be encouraged. This is an attempt to malign the institution. Entire bar is standing in solidarity with the Chief Justice of India," Manan Kumar Mishra, BCI chairperson, told PTI.

He said an emergency meeting of the top bar body would be convened on Sunday and a resolution be passed in this regard.

"We will pass the resolution and then try to meet the CJI to make him aware of the (BCI's) decision," Mishra said.

12:43 PM, 20 Apr

Complainants' Bail Plea to Be Heard on 24 April

A Delhi court on Saturday, 20 April, said it will hear on 24 April, a police plea to cancel bail of a former Supreme Court employee, who accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, in a cheating and criminal intimidation case.

The police sought cancellation of bail granted to the woman on 12 March, after the complainant claimed that he was being threatened by the woman and her associates.

An FIR for the alleged offences of cheating, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy was lodged against the woman on 3 March, after a complaint was received at Tilak Marg Police Station here by Naveen Kumar, a resident of Jhajjar in Haryana.

Kumar has alleged that the former apex court employee had defrauded him of Rs 50,000, which he claimed she took as part of a bribe, promising him a job at the court in exchange.

12:23 PM, 20 Apr

Reputation is All That We Get: CJI

“No judge is going to decide cases if this are the kind of attack we get. Reputation is only thing we get. Even that is attacked,” CJI said during the hearing.

12:18 PM, 20 Apr

Didn't Deem Appropriate to Reply to Allegations: CJI

Responding to the allegations, CJI said: “All I would like to say is this, undoubtedly every employees are treated fairly and decently. This employee was there for a month and half. Allegations came and I didn't deem it appropriate to reply to the allegations”.

11:45 AM, 20 Apr

'Unbelievable, Very Hurt,' Says CJI Gogoi

Following the charges, CJI Gogoi has said: “Independence of judiciary is under serious threat, very hurt with the allegations being levelled.”

“This is unbelievable. I don't think I should stoop low even to deny these allegations,” he further said.

11:45 AM, 20 Apr

Larger Conspiracy at Play: CJI

Responding to the allegations, CJI Gogoi said: “Independence of judiciary is under very very serious threat and there is a “larger conspiracy” to destabilise the judiciary.”

11:45 AM, 20 Apr

Up to Media to Act Responsibly: SC

After concluding the hearing of the case, the Supreme Court has said that it leaves it to wisdom of media to act responsibly on allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

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