An unidentified caller purportedly deceived two High Court judges into believing that he was Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and asked them to recommend several advocates’ names for the posts of judges in High Courts, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
A preliminary investigation has indicated that the calls to the two judges originated from the Supreme Court’s electronic private exchange system but had actually been made from a cellphone. The matter came to light during routine conversations between Gogoi and Telangana High Court Chief Justice B Radhakrishnan and the Acting Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court L Narayana Swamy.
The Supreme Court’s secretary-general Sanjeev Kalgaonkar ordered the investigation. Unidentified officials said the impostor’s identity is yet to be established.
The incident follows the sacking of two court masters who were accused of tampering with a judicial order that required the personal appearance of industrialist Anil Ambani in a contempt case.
Unidentified officials said an impostor first contacted Justice Swamy in Bengaluru pretending to be HK Juneja, the personal private secretary to Justice Gogoi. The caller said Gogoi wanted the names of certain advocates in the Karnataka High Court recommended for the posts of judges in the same court. He then called Swamy again after two days as Juneja and said Gogoi wanted to speak to him. The caller then imitated Gogoi’s voice. The same process was reportedly followed with Radhakrishnan.
Soon after, Gogoi issued an advisory asking chief justices of high courts and other judges not to take any decisions based on calls made in his name or that of his office.