Two High Court Chief Justices received calls from an imposter who claimed he was the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi. The calls were made to Telangana High Court Chief Justice Thottathul B Radhakrishnan and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy.
The imposter asked them to suggest names of certain advocates to be elevated as judges of High Courts. According to a report in The Telegraph, the matter came to light when the CJI recently held a routine conversation with the two judges.
The imposter first called up Justice Narayana Swamy and claimed to be the CJI’s private secretary, HK Juneja. He said he was calling on behalf of Justice Gogoi and wanted the names of certain advocates in Karnataka High Court to be elevated as judges. He called Justice Swamy again after two days and said the Chief Justice of India wanted to speak to him directly. The caller then tried to mimic Justice Gogoi’s voice and reiterated his request for the names of advocates.
The same thing was done with Justice Radhakrishnan. According to the Telegraph report, the impersonation was so convincing that the judges believed that they were talking to the CJI himself.
The Supreme Court’s secretary-general, Sanjeev Kalgaonkar, has ordered a probe. A complaint has been lodged at the Tilak Nagar police station. According to reports, the imposter, whose identity has not been identified yet, managed to hack into the Supreme Court’s telephone system.
After the matter came to light, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi convened a high-level meeting of Supreme Court’s officials, including those working in the apex court’s telecommunication wing, and asked whether a call from a mobile phone could be routed through the court’s EPBX system.
The Chief Justice has also issued an advisory to all High Court judges in India not to fall for such calls and not entertain calls made to them under his name.