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The hearing in the suo motu case initiated following allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi (In Re: Matter Of Great Public Importance Touching Upon The Independence Of Judiciary ) is currently underway at the Supreme Court.
A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta is hearing the matter. During the hearing yesterday, Advocate Utsav Bains appeared before the Court to submit that there is a conspiracy in the works to frame CJI Gogoi. In this regard, he also submitted an affidavit in a sealed cover to the Bench yesterday.
Taking serious note of its contents, the Bench had also called for a closed chamber meeting with the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Delhi Police Commissioner, and the Intelligence Bureau Chief the same afternoon.
In the post-lunch session, Bains told the Court that he would file a second affidavit on the alleged conspiracy against CJI Gogoi today. Accordingly, the matter was listed for hearing at 10.30 am today.
Live updates of today’s hearing follow.
After reports of the sexual harassment allegations against CJI Gogoi first broke last Saturday, a Special Bench was immediately convened to look into the matter of grave public importance touching upon the independence of the judiciary. This Special Bench had comprised CJI Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, However, the Court order passed that day did not reflect the name of CJI Gogoi.
Subsequently, the present Bench was constituted to take up the matter. This Bench clarified yesterday that it would only look into whether there is a conspiracy afoot against CJI Gogoi and a threat to the independence of the judiciary.
In the meanwhile, a Special Panel of Judges was constituted to look into the sexual harassment allegations against CJI Gogoi. This panel is headed by Justice SA Bobde, who is in line to become the next Chief Justice of India. The other members are Justices NV Ramana and Indira Banerjee.
CJI Gogoi has been accused of sexual assault by a former officer who worked as a junior assistant at the Supreme Court between May 2014 and December 2018. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the former Court officer has alleged that following the sexual assault incident, she was unceremoniously terminated from her post. Moreover, she alleges that a trail of harassment has followed since her termination, culminating in a frivolous FIR filed in March this year against herself and her family.
All the allegations have been denied by the Supreme Court Secretary General’s office. The response also asserts that the motive behind the “false and scurrilous allegations” is “obviously mischievous.”
Update: The order was pronounced at 2 pm. Read the order below.