File photo of former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
File photo of former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has nominated former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha, as a member of eminence.

A notification to this effect was issued Monday night.

Under Article 80 of the Constitution, the President can appoint 12 MPs “having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service” to the Rajya Sabha.

Justice Gogoi, the 46th CJI, retired on 17 November 2019, after being at the helm for important verdicts that impacted the socio-political milieu of the country — the Ayodhya land dispute verdict, the review of women’s entry into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple, and bringing the office of the CJI under the RTI Act.


Also read: Woman who accused CJI Gogoi of sexual harassment goes on leave after getting back SC job


Not the first CJI in Rajya Sabha 

Justice Gogoi will not be the first CJI to sit in the Rajya Sabha. The 21st CJI, Rangnath Mishra, served as an MP in the Upper House from 1998 to 2004. However, Justice Mishra was a Congress MP, not a member of eminence appointed by the President.

Justice Mishra was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1983, and became the CJI in 1990. He joined the Congress about seven years after his retirement in 1991.

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However, there has been one case of movement in the opposite direction too — from the Rajya Sabha to the judiciary.

Baharul Islam was elected to the Rajya Sabha on a Congress ticket in 1962 and 1968. However, he resigned from Parliament in 1972 to become a judge of the Gauhati High Court.

Islam retired in 1980, but once Indira Gandhi came back to pwoer, he was sent to the Supreme Court as a judge. He went on to absolve the chief minister of Bihar, Jagannath Mishra, in the urban cooperative bank scandal. He resigned thereafter, only to be made a Rajya Sabha MP again.

CJI Gogoi’s tenure

Born in November 1954, CJI Gogoi was appointed as a permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court in February 2001, and was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in September 2010. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court in April 2012.

Six months into his tenure, CJI Gogoi faced arguably his greatest crisis in court. In April 2019, reports surfaced in the media that a Supreme Court staffer had accused the CJI of sexual harassment. The allegation came to light after the woman sent a letter along with affidavits to all 22 (at the time) apex court judges. The case was sent to an SC panel, where the charges were found to be baseless. However, the Congress had sought to impeach Gogoi.

One of the highlights of Gogoi’s tenure as an SC judge came in 2014, when a bench headed by him kick-started the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam. The process concluded in August 2019, during his tenure as CJI.

He retired on 17 November 2019.


Also read: CJI Ranjan Gogoi — the ‘revolutionary’ judge who often found himself making headlines


(This report has been updated to add information about Baharul Islam)

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12 Comments Share Your Views

12 COMMENTS

  1. We’ve gone too far in creating post-retirement avenues for judges. Desire of a post-retirement job influences pre-retirement judgements” Piyush Goyal in 2013 on rehabilitation of retired judges. He cannot claim that he was misquoted as its own tweet. Modi government is worst than late Ms Indira Gandhi. PM Modi seems to have taken Goyal’s words seriously and has immediately recommended Ranjan Gogoi and President was quick to affix his rubber stamp.

  2. I am about to lose my child’s custody because of him. He delayed my case for years and now the child is alienated and does not want to talk to me. Thank You Mr. Gogoi.

  3. This is Ranjan Gogoi’s reward for clean chit in the Rafale case. The numbers of aircraft, the price of aircraft, absolute zero guarantees by the manufacturer, the elephant in the room in the shape of Anil Ambani – – was EVERYTHING “clean”, Ranjan Gogoi, Sir? Congratulations, Sir, from we the poor Indians.

  4. जो चीज कांग्रेस और मुस्लिम के पछ में नहीं है उसको इन दोनों मिलकर सैतान मानता है . इन दोनों ने सारा सैतानी हरकत इस देश में फैलाया और आगे फैलाने में कामयाब नहीं हो रहा है ये इसकी समस्या है .

  5. It is patently wrong on the part of the government to nominate him, and on his part to accept the nomination. This raises doubt that all his major judgments which helped government or political establishment were in the nature of quid pro qua. Very bad practice. The opposition is entirely justified in criticizing this despicable move.

  6. For someone who has been CJI, a Rajya Sabha seat is a trifle. Recently conferred upon Ms Priyanka Chaturvedi. She will get a flat on North or South Avenue, he will be given a bungalow. The Gauhati High Court has approved some lifelong perquisites, which he ought to have declined. Along with this nomination. The institution he headed has wobbled sufficiently during his tenure. It ought to have been spared this indignity. Too much should not be made of the fact that he is the first person from the north east to have attained this post. It diminishes the region.

  7. HaHa a totally’commited’ judge, the kind Indira Gandhi would be proud of. Was a media darling when he was a part of the infamous 4 judge press conference, unprecedented and unbecoming judicial conduct. Just as accepting this Rajya Sabha nomination is. Guess media’s reaction now to this 2nd breach of propriety will not be so charitable. All of India’s institutions are messed up none more so than the judiciary and the media with it’s double standards is in no position to pass judgement. As they say ” Is Ham mein Sab………”

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