Former SC Judge AK Patnaik to Probe ‘Conspiracy’ Against CJI After Sexual Harassment Charges

The Supreme Court has appointed former SC judge AK Patnaik to head the probe into an alleged conspiracy to frame Chief Justice of India in a sexual harassment case.

The court has also asked the chiefs of CBI, Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police to assist in the probe.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta asked the CBI Director, Intelligence Bureau Director and Delhi Police Commissioner are ordered to cooperate with the inquiry whenever their services are required.

The probe was ordered after lawyer Utsav Bains alleged that the CJI was being targeted by “bench fixers” and disgruntled employees as he sought to put an end to the ‘cash for judgment’ racket.

The inquiry by Justice Patnaik will determine the veracity of Bains’s allegation that the CJI was the target of a lobby of corrupt corporates, fixers and disgruntled and dismissed employees of the court.

“…we make it clear that this inquiry shall not be with respect to the alleged misbehaviour involving Hon’ble The Chief Justice of India. This is with respect to the contents of the affidavits, whether the affidavits are correct or not,” the bend said, making clear that the inquiry by Justice Patnaik will not affect in any manner the inquiry by a panel of three judges into sexual harassment charges levelled against the CJI.

In his affidavit, Bains had said he had been “informed by reliable sources that certain ‘fixers’, who claim to be engaged in illegally managing judgments in exchange for cash, are behind this plot as the Hon’ble CJI has taken decisive action to crack down on such fixers”.

Abha Boyal

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