NEW DELHI :
The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to Delhi-based lawyer Utsav Singh Bains to appear before it in person after he claimed that he was asked to “frame" Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in the sexual harassment complaint.
The order was passed by a three-judge bench, constituted on Tuesday, comprising justices Arun Mishra, R.F. Nariman and Deepak Gupta. The court ordered Bains to appear before it on Wednesday.
Bains filed an affidavit on Monday saying he was aware of the chain of events that led to charges of sexual harassment being levelled against Gogoi on Friday by a woman who had worked at his home office in Delhi.
Bains claimed he was offered a bribe of ₹1.5 crore to “frame" Gogoi.
Bains said he had been told by a “reliable person on condition of anonymity" that Gogoi was framed by a “corporate figure" who had failed to get a favourable order in “a high-profile case".
“The said corporate figure…thus ganged up with an alleged fixer...and his aides to frame the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in a false case of sexual harassment to pressurize him to resign," Bains said in his affidavit.
Bains also expressed fear for his life saying “the deponent is aware that his life will come under imminent danger after filing of this affidavit."
The order uploaded on the website of the Supreme Court says that on account of the apprehension of threat expressed by Bains, the court “directs the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to provide adequate police protections."
The order came after two lawyers’ associations criticized the court for the suo moto proceedings held by a special bench on 20 April on the sexual harassment complaint and urged it to speedily set up a bench to hear the matter.
The Supreme Court Bar Association said the 20 April proceedings were in “violation of procedure established by law as well as principles of natural justice."
The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SC AoR) sought “immediate Constitution of a committee by full court of Supreme Court to impartially investigate and inquire into the allegations."
The Supreme Court Employees Welfare Association, however, came out in support of Gogoi saying it “strongly condemns the false, fabricated and baseless allegations" against him.