A special bench of the Supreme Court on Saturday held an urgent hearing after a woman, in an affidavit to several sitting judges, accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Gogoi was constituted after a sworn affidavit by the woman, copies of which were sent to the residences of 22 top court judges, became public on Saturday.
During the course of the hearing, CJI Gogoi denied the allegations and said that the "judiciary is under threat today".
"This is unbelievable. I should not stoop low even in denying it,” CJI Gogoi said.
The former employee has described two incidents of alleged molestation by Gogoi in her affidavit, both of which allegedly took place in October 2018, only days after he was appointed as the CJI.
Justice Gogoi alleged a conspiracy behind the allegations and said, "There has to be bigger force behind this, they want to deactivate office of CJI."
"I will sit on this bench and discharge my duties without fear and favour till my tenure is over," Chief Justice Gogoi said.
"I have taken this unusual and extraordinary step of sitting in court today because things have gone too far," he said.
Judiciary can't be made a scapegoat, CJI Gogoi said.
Confirming that a letter by the woman has been received by several sitting judges, Supreme Court Secretary General Sanjeev Sudhakar Kalgaonkar said all the allegations made by the woman concerned are malafide and have no basis.
"No doubt, it is a malafide allegation," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)