CJI abuse row: Court masters sacked for tampering Reliance order in dock

CJI abuse row: Court masters sacked for tampering Reliance order in dock
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. File photo

New Delhi: Two court masters who were ousted for tampering with a Supreme Court order on Anil Ambani are behind the allegations of misconduct on Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, says an affidavit submitted confidentially by lawyer Utsav Bains.

The court on Wednesday summoned the chiefs of the Intelligence Bureau and Central Bureau of Investigation to its chamber to collect evidence into the alleged conspiracy. The court asked the lawyer to hand over the evidence claimed to be in his possession. The court will consider the case on Thursday too.

Bains’s affidavit says some who introduced themselves as middlemen have claimed to have the influence to sway verdicts. The bench consisting Judges Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Dipak Gupta said such middlemen have no place in the system and the allegation should not be brushed aside. A probe will be ordered on this claim, the bench indicated.

Tapan Kumar Chakavarthy and Manav Sharma were dismissed two months ago after they tampered with an order on Reliance Communications (RCom) Chairman Anil Ambani. Bains said the two, along with others, conspired against the CJI. Another affidavit filed recently claimed he was offered Rs 1.5 crore to appear for the woman who made the allegations and hold a press conference. Jet Airways’ Naresh Goyal, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Romesh Sharma, who is accused of fraud, were named in that affidavit. Bains said certain facts about that could not be revealed.

Meanwhile, lawyer Indira Jaisingh asked the court that Bains’s affidavits should not affect proceedings on the abuse case filed by the woman. The court agreed.

RCom order tampering

A bench presided by Rohinton Nariman had on January 7 ordered Anil ambani to appear before it in person in a contempt of court case filed by telecom company Ericsson India. However, when the order was published on its website, it was changed to ‘no need to appear’. Tapan and Manav were sacked by the CJI in February for this tampering. Both were court masters with assistant registrar’s rank. They were arrested a fortnight ago under court’s orders and remanded in custody.

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