The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday sounded a stern warning to the well-heeled people of the country – “the time has come to tell the rich and powerful of the country that they will burn their fingers if they play with fire”.
Reports stated that the top court also expressed anguish over the “systematic attack” on the judiciary
The apex court made this observation while hearing allegations made by a lawyer that there was a “larger conspiracy to frame Assam-born Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi over allegations of sexual harassment”.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, RF Nariman and Deepak Gupta, in a stern warning to those trying to “influence” the top court, said that “we have to tell the rich and powerful of the country to desist from trying to control the Supreme Court”.
“We will tell them don’t dare attempt it. You will burn your fingers,” the bench said, adding, “it is three to five per cent of lawyers who try to influence the registry whenever there is a big case and bring a bad name to the lawyer community as well as judiciary.”
The top court said, “Enough is enough. There has been a systemic attack against the Supreme Court over the last three to four years and the time has come to take action.”
“The way the institution (Supreme Court) has been treated in the last three four years, it is going to die. There is a systematic attempt/game,” the bench said.
As far as the role of “fixers” in influencing the court is concerned vis-à-vis the alleged framing of CJI Ranjan Gogoi in the sexual harassment case, the bench decided to set up an inquiry committee to conduct a probe into the same.
The SC took serious note of allegations made by lawyer Utsav Bains that he was offered a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore by a person named Ajay to frame CJI Ranjan Gogoi in a false case of sexual harassment and that three dismissed SC employees ganged up with the “fixers”.