It is quite likely that, with a serious charge of sexual harassment slapped on CJI Ranjan Gogoi, there is an attempt to derail these four cases that not only have a national import but that also involves high stakes of influential parties concerned
New Delhi: Amid allegations of sexual misconduct, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi alleged that this was a conspiracy against him to deter him from hearing some big cases next week. He called this an attempt to target the judiciary and hinted at a larger set up by some “powerful forces”.
“This is an attempt to abridge the hitherto intact independence of the judiciary. Not just a woman is involved in this conspiracy, but some big forces are too. I have to hear some significant cases next week and this is an attempt to scuttle the hearing of those cases. But, I shall continue to do my duty without any bias and fear till my tenure,” the CJI said on Saturday.
He was speaking while presiding over a special bench to hear the matter with justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna. The special bench also ordered the institution of another bench of which the CJI would not be part to go into this matter.
Four important cases that CJI will hear next week
1. Rahul Gandhi defamation case
The most significant case, at least politically, that the CJI will hear the coming week is the criminal contempt case against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
The case was lodged by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi over Gandhi’s diatribe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wherein Gandhi had said several times said that the SC had pronounced ‘chowkidar chor hai’ in the Rafale aircraft deal.
The SC bench headed by CJI Gogoi had served notice to Gandhi for incorrectly attributing a statement to it and called for his explanation on Monday, April 22.
CJI Gogoi had come down heavily on Gandhi. “We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Gandhi to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had on no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general,” the bench headed by Chief Justice Gogoi had said.
2. Rajeev Kumar, Kolkata’s ex-police chief
The next significant case that a bench headed by the CJI would hear coming week is one pertaining to the multi-hundred crore Saradha chit fund scam and the alleged cover-up by the former police commissioner of Kolkata and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s blue-eyed boy Rajeev Kumar.
Also read: Former Kolkata top cop Rajeev Kumar in fresh trouble as CBI goes to Supreme Court seeking his arrest
The CBI’s investigation into his role had led to the infamous face-off between the Kolkata police and the CBI in which the officer sat on a dharna with CM Banerjee.
The CBI has presented several evidence claiming that Kumar was instrumental in covering up and botching the Saradha scam probe to save certain powerful political elements in the state.
3. National Registry of Citizens (NRC)
The top court will hear a PIL pertaining to the NRC on April 23. The PIL was filed by activist Harsh Mander through Pashant Bhushan. The PIL is regarding the plight of those detained as illegal aliens.
4. PM Modi’s biopic
A bench headed by the CJI is to decide whether the ban on PM’s biopic, put in place by the Election Commission, should be continued. The matter will come up for hearing on April 22. Earlier, the EC had banned the movie and to be released only after the polls are over, arguing that it could help the BJP in the elections. The SC had ordered the EC to watch the complete movie last Wednesday and the EC submitted its report after the special premiere last Friday.
Last Updated 2:28 PM IST