The Supreme Court on Thursday closed its suo-motu case to examine alleged conspiracy against the judiciary in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.
The case was closed citing the inability of recovering electronic evidence in relation to the case.
The Supreme Court said that two years have passed and the possibility of retrieving electronic records is very unlikely.
The court referred to a letter by Director, Intelligence Bureau, stating some conspiracy may have been hatched against Gogoi due to his decisions on the judicial side like the preparation of NRC in Assam. It said there are strong reasons to believe that some kind of conspiracy might have been undertaken against CJI.
It said, in view of the mandate of the order dated April 25, 2019 Justice Patnaik’s report opines that it cannot really inquire whether the decisions of the then CJI on the judicial side had triggered the conspiracy against Gogoi.
Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the report of Justice (retired) AK Patnaik, who was asked by a 3-judge bench to conduct an inquiry into a possible conspiracy against Gogoi, had already been submitted. He said that another report of committee headed by current CJI SA Bobde has also been submitted. Justice Kaul said, "two years have passed, there is no possibility of any more electronic evidence being recovered".
The bench also comprising justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said that the Justice (retd) AK Patnaik panel was not able to get electronic records like WhatsApp messages to probe into the conspiracy and hence no purpose would be served by continuing with the suo motu case.
The case was first heard by a bench headed by Gogoi himself when Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned a conspiracy to damage independence of the judiciary through allegations against the then CJI.