Former Chief Justice of India (CJI), Ranjan Gogoi, on Tuesday, March 17, cleared his stand on his acceptance of the Rajya Sabha (RS) nomination forwarded by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. The former CJI, on Tuesday, stated that he will speak to media on the reason he accepted the RS nomination after taking oath in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
“I’ll go to Delhi probably tomorrow. Let me first take the oath then I will speak in detail to the media that why I accepted this and why I am going to Rajya Sabha,” said former CJI Ranjan Gogoi, quoted news agency ANI.
President Kovind had nominated Gogoi to the RS seat on Monday, March 16. This move by President Kovind erupted a fresh controversy in India as many raised suspicion on Gogoi’s nomination to the upper house of the parliament. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) leader and former Rajya Sabha member, Brinda Karat, termed Gogoi’s acceptance of RS nomination as a questionable point on Supreme Court’s credibility.
“When Gogoi was the CJI, he had said that it was very wrong for any retired justice of the SC to accept a government post and now, within 4-5 months of his retirement, he has accepted to hold such post,” asked Karat while speaking to media, quoted ANI. She said that Gogoi’s acceptance of RS nomination raises serious question on the credibility of the apex court.
Senior Lawyer, Sanjay Hegde, also expressed his grievance over Gogoi’s RS nomination. As per a report by the news agency ANI, Hegde urged the former CJI to give away his RS nomination as the latter is setting up a “very wrong” predence by accepting it. While exemplifying his apprehensions about RS nomination of the former CJI, Hegde simplified what he wished to express on Gogoi’s RS nomination.
“In very simple words supposing you had a case and I was the judge. I give a judgement against you and in favour of the government. Then, if after my retirement I went and took a gift from the government and joined them, would you think that judgement was right?” Senior Lawyer Sanjay Hegde was quoted as saying in the ANI report.
Ranjan Gogoi was the country’s 46th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India and served between October 3, 2018 and November 17, 2019. He was a part of some landmark judgements which include the one on National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the decades old Ayodhya Land Dispute arising after the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition. It is not an unprecedented move as earlier in 1998, the 21st Chief Justice of India Ranganath Mishra was nominated to RS seat on Congress party ticket. Another Justice of the apex court, Justice Baharul Islam, was also nominated to the RS seat in 1983 by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.