When online news portals, such as Scroll.in and The Wire carried the story of the alleged sexual misconduct by Chief Justice of India on April 20, many believed it smacked of some sort of conspiracy to intimidate and control the top court, especially when the Lok Sabha polls are on.
During a special hearing by an SC bench, CJI Ranjan Gogoi too had expressed his disgust over the allegations. “After 20 years of selfless service as judge, I have a bank balance of Rs 6.80 lakh. Nobody can catch me on money. People have to find something and they have found this,” Justice Gogoi said.
He had also said that the woman complainant had no occasion to interact with him directly, given the nature of her duties, and suspected some “mischievous forces behind all this”.
Now an article on The Wire, published on April 29, sheds light on the people who helped the woman file the affidavit and send it to the 22 SC judges as well as “select” media platforms, to say the least.
The article, “Days After SC Sought Probe Into ‘Conspiracy’ Against CJI, Advocate’s Story Under Fire” by Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta seeks to prove that Advocate Utsav Bains had met the CJI twice before filing a petition alleging conspiracy to “frame” the CJI based on inputs by activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
In the middle of the article, the following paragraphs appear, perhaps inadvertently.
“Bhushan also said he and a few other lawyers like Kamini Jaiswal, Vrinda Grover and his father Shanti Bhushan, had helped the former SC employee file her affidavit against the CJI. The senior lawyer also facilitated her to get in touch with media platforms.
“He said he helped the woman only after he was convinced of her accusations. He then sought advice from retired judges too. He added that the woman was in a miserable condition and has also lost hearing in one of her ears owing to emotional stress.”
The April 20 story appeared in the “select” portals cited excerpts from the said affidavit by a junior court assistant, who alleged that she was sacked from the job because she had resisted sexual advance by the CJI. The woman worked with the Supreme Court from May 1, 2014, to December 21, 2018.