Former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde Friday said the integrity of the apex court as an institution has taken a big blow in the backdrop of allegations against the CJI and those on larger conspiracy to frame him and fixing of benches.
He said it would take a long time for the Supreme Court to come out of “these problems”.
Hegde made the comments in response to questions on matters regarding the sexual harassment allegations against the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and allegations of a lawyer about “larger conspiracy” to frame the CJI and fixing of benches in the apex court.
He also noted the setting up of an in-house inquiry committee, headed by senior most judge Justice S A Bobde, to deal with the complaint against the CJI and appointment of former supreme court judge A K Patnaik to hold an inquiry into the allegations of the lawyer.
“It’s a very sad state of affairs irrespective of the ultimate results. The institutional integrity has taken a big blow”, Hegde, a former Solicitor General of India, told PTI.
He said: “These two inquiries…irrespective of the ultimate result…damages the reputation of the institution because there are groups which have already come forward either in support or against the Justice and the Institution as such…
“…lot of allegations have been made that there are groups which are fixing the benches to suit the client’s requirments…; these are very serious allegations which are bound to damage the institutional integrity. According to me, it will take a long time for the institution to come out of these problems”, he said.
Hegde, a former Lokayukta of Karnataka where he had earlier served as the Advocate General, said irrespective of the merits of the matters, the judiciary “is taking a beating”.