A Supreme Court bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul closed the suo motu case initiated against the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday, 18 February. The case followed after the allegations of sexual harassment made against him in 2019.
Justice Kaul ruled that a “three-member committee headed by the CJI SA Bobde has already submitted a report. Suo motu case is closed and proceedings are disposed off. There is no requirement to keep the case going on,” Bar and Bench reported.
Saying that there was a reason to believe that the some judgments by the ex-CJI had led to a conspiracy against him, he added, “Two years have passed and the possibility of recovery of electronic evidence now is unlikely.”
Advocate Utsav Bains had claimed that there was a larger conspiracy against Gogoi in 2019, and former apex court Judge AK Patnaik was given the charge to look into the matter.
A detailed 40-page report had been submitted by Justice Patnaik in October 2019.
A bench led by Arun Mishra had earlier said that Justice Patnaik’s report would not be dealing with the woman’s complaint against Gagoi and only focus on the contents of Bains' affidavit.
A woman working as a junior court assistant at the Supreme Court earlier had alleged in an affidavit in April 2019 that the former CJI had made sexual advances on her at his residence. She appealed for an inquiry into Gogoi’s actions, who she said was also behind her and her family’s subsequent victimisation.
During a special hearing, Gogoi denied the allegations and said he did not “deem it appropriate” to reply to the woman. He also claimed that her allegations were part of a “bigger plot.” Bains, too, had claimed that there was a plot to frame the CJI in a Facebook post on 20 April, following which he filed the affidavit.
(With inputs from Bar and Bench.)