New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed retired judge AK Patnaik to head the inquiry into lawyer Utsav Bains’ allegations about conspiracy against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a woman staffer.
The apex court also directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla and IB Chief Rajiv Jain to cooperate with Justice Patnaik in the probe.
The court gave the directions while a hearing an affidavit filed by the lawyer. The case will be listed after Justice Patnaik files the report before the bench in a sealed cover, it further said.
The bench also said that the inquiry by Justice Patnaik shall not affect the proceedings of the Supreme Court.
The former Supreme Court judge was earlier appointed by the top court to oversee a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry into the allegations and counter allegations in the Centre Vs CBI case.
He did his Bachelor of Laws from Madhusudan Law College in Cuttack. He enrolled with the State Bar Council of Orissa in the year 1974. He practised in the Orissa High Court, and subordinate courts and tribunals in the state.
Justice Patnaik specialized in commercial law and constitutional law and was the standing counsel for Orissa State Road Transportation Corporation From 1989 to 1990 and also the senior standing counsel for Commercial Tax Department of the Government of Orissa between 1990 and 1994.
He was elevated as an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court on January 13, 1994, and transferred to the Gauhati High Court in February that year. He was made a permanent judge (puisne judge) of the Gauhati High Court in 1995. In 2002, he was transferred to the Odisha again, where he subsequently became the senior most puisne judge of Orissa High Court.
He was appointed Chief Justice of Chhattigarh High Court on March 14, 2005. Later that year he became Chief Justice of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, serving there for four years.
On November 17, 2009, he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of India where he served till his retirement on June 2, 2014.
After retirement, he was offered the post of chairman of Odisha State Human Rights Commission which he declined.
In March 2012, Patnaik was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Law (Honoris Causa) by the Utkal University.