While talking to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, India's top lawyer, Harish Salve, on Friday, said that to expect CJI Ranjan Gogoi to stop working and recuse himself from his cases due to the allegations leveled against him is equivalent to living in 'La La Land.'
"If someone has made a complaint against the Chief Justice, he will be enquired into and he is being enquired into. That is one dimension. At the same time, to give it such a white canvas and say that now that allegations have been put against him (Gogoi), he must stop working, he must recuse himself and that the whole thing must be put on the front page is unfair. Let's not live in a La-la Land. His reputation is tarnished," said Salve.
Talking about the pattern in which three consecutive Chief Justices have been subjected to conspiracies, he said that it was a worrying feature.
"Judges are very careful with the causes they take up when hearing to PILs. This has been seen as an attack at the integrity of three consecutive Chief Justices. While it did not gather momentum where Justice Khehar was concerned, Justices Mishra and Gogoi have been subjected to the most judicious attack. I find this a very worrying feature," he added.
On Thursday, following a Supreme Court bench hearing lawyer Utsav Bains' stunning claim that there is a "larger conspiracy" at play to frame Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, the top court has initiated a probe into the matter. Taking cognisance of the 'conspiracy' angle alleged by Bains, who also submitted 'evidence' in a sealed envelope, the three-judge bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman, and Deepak Gupta has appointed Justice (Retd) AK Patnaik to inquire into the claims.
On Wednesday, Bains had filed an affidavit with all the details of the allegations in a sealed cover before the Supreme Court. In the affidavit, Bains said that he was approached by an alleged 'fixer' who is an aide of Dawood Ibrahim with the offer of a bribe. The lawyer has also submitted ‘specific information’ on how the conspiracy was planned by ‘disgruntled employees’ of the Supreme Court.
Bains had been summoned by the apex court after he wrote a long and detailed Facebook post regarding his claims in which he said that “a lobby of judges who are planning this larger conspiracy” will try to ‘harm him (the Chief Justice of India) professionally”.
As the matter currently stands, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Chief and CBI Director have also been directed to cooperate with Justice AK Patnaik, following which the retired judge has been asked to submit the report to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover.
This whole probe started when a sworn affidavit containing sexual assault allegations by a former Supreme Court employee against CJI Ranjan Gogoi was sent to the residences of 22 apex court judges. Once the affidavit became public, the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi had on Saturday, dismissed the allegations levelled against him during the course of the unprecedented hearing titled as a matter of "great public importance touching upon the independence of the judiciary".