The Supreme Court Bar Association, headed by senior advocate Rakesh Khanna, and the SC Advocates on Record Association, led by Shivaji M Jadav, which represent most lawyers practising in the SC, passed resolutions criticising the CJI for violation of procedure and principles of natural justice during the hurriedly called proceedings on Saturday to deal with the sexual harassment complaint.
Both associations requested a full court meeting on the issues arising from the complaint and setting up of a committee appointed by the judges to independently investigate the allegations levelled against the CJI.
However, the SC Employees Welfare Association led by B A Rao and the SC Secretarial Staff Welfare Association headed by Mukesh Nasa passed resolutions expressing solidarity with the CJI and termed the complaint by a dismissed woman employee “false, fabricated and baseless”.
If the 22-page letter in the form of an affidavit by the dismissed employee levelling the allegation against the CJI created a sensation in the judiciary and outside, an advocate filed an 11-page affidavit in the apex court on Monday alleging that the complaint was part of a larger conspiracy hatched by “Dawood Ibrahim frontman Romesh Sharma”, who was lodged in jail for over 10 years facing several criminal cases before being granted bail.
The advocate, Utsav Bains, claimed that he was approached by a person named ‘Ajay’ to take up the dismissed woman employee’s case. When he refused to take it up on finding several loopholes in her story, he was offered Rs 50 lakh, which was raised to Rs 1.50 crore, he claimed.
He said on inquiry, he found that “certain ‘fixers’, who claim to be engaged in illegally managing judgments in exchange for cash, were behind the plot as the CJI had taken decisive action to crack down on such fixers”.
“The said fixer Romesh Sharma was running a ‘cash for judgment’ racket in cahoots with businessmen and politicians and had exercised considerable influence for years, which ultimately was brought to an end by the present CJI, as he took decisive action against them after becoming CJI,” he claimed.
Bains said he believed there was a “conspiracy against the CJI to force him to resign and thereby threaten every judge with dire consequences for being free and fearless in dispensing justice while pronouncing judgments against the rich and powerful in the country”. He said he feared for his life as he had filed the affidavit naming the “racketeers who attempted to blackmail the CJI”.