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'Conspiracy' against CJI: SC says will go to root of the claim

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said it would go to the root of the alleged conspiracy and sensational claims made by a lawyer that there is a bigger conspiracy to frame Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in the sexual harassment allegations against him.

A three-judge special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said if fixers continue to work and manipulate the judiciary as claimed, neither this institution nor any of "us" will survive.

The bench, also comprising justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta, asked lawyer Utsav Singh Bains, who has made claims of a greater conspiracy, to file another affidavit by Thursday morning after he claimed that he has some more "incriminating evidence".

The bench said it would take up the matter for hearing on Thursday.

"We will inquire and go to the root of alleged claims of fixers at work and manipulating the judiciary. If they continue to work, then none of us will survive. Fixing has no role to play in the system. We will inquire and take it to the logical end," it said.

The bench also clarified that there is no connection between the hearing of Bains' claims of larger conspiracy and the in-house inquiry ordered into the sexual harassment allegations against the CJI.

Earlier in the day, the apex court directed chiefs of the CBI, IB and Delhi Police to appear and meet in chambers the three judges who are hearing his claim that there was a larger conspiracy to frame the CJI. The entire episode is "disconcerting" as it concerns the independence of the judiciary in the country, the bench said.

It turned down a fervent request of Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to order a court-monitored SIT probe into the matter.

After meeting the directors of the CBI and the IB, and the Delhi Police commissioner, the bench reassembled at 3 pm to hear the matter at length.

At the outset Bains, who has filed an affidavit in the top court claiming a bigger conspiracy of alleged fixers to frame the CJI on allegations of sexual harassment, placed before the bench material to substantiate his claims.

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