The Supreme Court on Thursday said former top court judge A.K. Patnaik committee report has pointed out that a conspiracy to level sexual harassment charges against former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in April 2019, cannot be ruled out.
A bench comprising Justices S.K. Kaul, A.S. Bopanna and V.Ramasubramanian said that there exists a reason to believe that decisions by the former Chief Justice may have led to a conspiracy being hatched against him.
Justice Gogoi is currently a Rajya Sabha member
The bench noted that two years have passed, and it is unlikely that there is any possibility that electronic evidence can be recovered.
The observations from the top court came during the hearing on the suo moto case looking into a larger conspiracy against Justice Gogoi after sexual harassment was levelled against him.
Justice Patnaik committee looked into the allegations made by a lawyer Utsav Bains that there was a larger conspiracy against Justice Gogoi, due to decisions taken by him. The committee only examined the statement made by Bains alleging a larger conspiracy against Justice Gogoi.
According to the Justice Patnaik report certain tough administrative decisions to streamline the registry could have contributed towards the conspiracy.
Justice Kaul observed that the three-member committee headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde has already gone into the merits of sexual harassment allegations and submitted a report in the matter.
After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court said suo moto case is closed and proceedings are disposed of. "There is no requirement to keep the case going on", said the bench.
"It's a vindication of my stand that there was a conspiracy against former CJI Gogoi. I welcome the honourable Supreme Court observation vindicating my stand that there was a conspiracy against him," advocate Utsav Bains.