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Full text of CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s farewell letter to the media

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi's last working day was Friday and is retiring on 17 November.

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New Delhi: In a three-page letter addressed to the press, outgoing Chief Justice India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi Friday said “bitter truths must remain in memory” after he declined to hold one-to-one interviews with journalists.

However, Justice Gogoi lauded the press for its “maturity” and “character” in preventing “canards and falsehood” when judiciary was keeping an “ambush or two at bay”.

Justice Gogoi, whose last working day was Friday, said it was not the requirement of the Supreme Court that judges “reach out to our citizenry through the press”.

Read the full letter here:

The response of the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India to the requests received for one to one interview from several journalists of the print and electronic media is as follows:-

I am keen that you would appreciate that the ordinary freedoms are finely balanced in our institutional functioning – while you have the Bar whose members can exercise their freedom of speech to the extent of even pushing the boundaries of such freedom, the Bench requires its Judges to ‘maintain’ silence, while exercising their freedoms. This is not to say that Judges do not speak. They do speak, but do so only out of functional necessity, and no more. Bitter truths must remain in memory.

As a public  functionary, entrusted with onerous Constitutional duties to discharge, the idea of courting the press never endeared itself as a choice in the interest of my Institution. I chose to belong to an Institution whose strength lay in public confidence and trust, earned not through good press, but through our work as Judges on the bench. In fact, our workplaces are, by our functional necessity, required to be public places as Justice is ordained to be delivered in presence of ordinary citizens to ensure that it is never far removed from them. In that view, our institutional connect and interface with the citizenry is proximate. It is not the requirement of our Institution, for Judges to reach to our citizenry through the press – rather, such outreach ought to be symbolic of an extra-ordinary situation, demanding an exception to the norm. I have always soldiered to strengthen our institutional values, and as part of such discourse I would not be able to meet your request for a one-on-one meet.

This, of course, is not to suggest that the press has no contribution to make to the growth of our institution. On the contrary, good press is also a parameter, amongst others, that is known to be indicative of our institutional health. In such view, I do wish to put on record that by and large, the press corps has been kind to my office as well as to our institution during my tenure at the helm of the institution. Even during trying times, when our Institution was keeping an ambush or two at bay, most members of the Press displayed maturity and character, and exercised exceptional discretion to prevent canards and falsehood from clogging the newspace. To me, those were times when the stellar role of journalists, as defenders of truth and democratic ideals came to the fore. I am certain that my inability to join you for a one-to-one meet would be accepted with dignity that you may deem it deserves.

Needless to say, once I am well into retirement, I will look forward to meeting you to talk about things of mutual interest.

With best wishes

(Ranjan Gogoi)
15.11.2019


Also read: Gogoi keeps up CJI tradition of retiring with a bang — has 4 big verdicts in last 2 weeks


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. The Chief Justice should have emphasized on the current situation of Judiciary with pressure from Govt. Moreover He didn’t touch his major decisions recently settled and simply texted the honest character being on the top job. Unleashing a standard protocol of thanking the media in balancing his tenure and intending to talk once after retirement may only be judged by what he pronounces in his latter subjects of discussion. Lets see in coming days.

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