Apex Court gives relief to Former CJI, Ranjan Gogoi in ‘sexual harassment case’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday disposed of the suo motu proceedings initiated by it against former CJI Ranjan Gogoi, asserting the inquiry report opined that a ‘larger conspiracy’ to level sexual harassment charges against him cannot be ruled out.

The top court had registered the suo-motu case back in 2019 and former SC judge Justice (Retd) AK Patnaik was examining the veracity of allegations leveled by Advocate Utsav Bains against Mr Gogoi.

After going through the report submitted by Justice Patnaik, a three-judge bench headed by Justice SK Kaul said, the possibility of a conspiracy against Justice Gogoi could not be ruled out, adding that such a conspiracy could be linked to Justice Gogoi’s decisions, including his views on the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The court also observed that because of limited access to records and based on evidence and material, it was also not possible to find corroboration for the allegations.

As two years have elapsed and recovery of this electronic evidence would be difficult, the bench noted.

Earlier, Mr Bains had handed his allegations to the top court in sealed cover and the same was forwarded to Justice Patnaik Committee.

“No purpose will be served in continuing the proceedings. Accordingly the suo moto proceedings are closed,” the Apex Court stated.

The top court made it clear that the internal committee had already given a clean chit to the judge and recovery of evidence pertaining to an alleged conspiracy would now be unlikely after ordering the report submitted by Justice Patnaik to be placed in sealed cover.

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