Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi entering the Parliament for oath taking in Rajya Sabha | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi enters Parliament ahead of his swearing in as a Rajya Sabha member on 19 March 2020 | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Hours after taking oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha Thursday, former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi spoke to several media outlets and addressed some of the allegations and concerns that were raised after he was nominated to the Upper House.

In an interview to Times of India, Gogoi spoke about the criticism he faced over the “sealed cover” jurisprudence, in cases such as the Rafale deal.

“Should we have made public sensitive information relating to weaponry attached to Rafale jets? Pakistan would have laughed its heart out and said it outwitted India through the Supreme Court. And was the Rafale deal scrutiny an ordinary road construction petition to demand similar level of transparency regarding pricing?” he was quoted as saying.

He also scorned at the allegations that his nomination to Rajya Sabha, four months after his retirement, was part of a “quid pro quo” arrangement with the Union government.

“Those who are criticising acceptance of nomination as quid pro quo must grant a better sense of proportion to a former CJI. If a former CJI wants quid pro quo, then he could seek bigger, lucrative posts with bigger emoluments and facilities and not a nomination to RS, where the pecuniary benefits are the same as that of a retired judge,” he said.

Gogoi also said he wants to give his salary and allowances from the Rajya Sabha towards refurbishing libraries of law colleges in small towns if the “rules permit it”.


Also read: Prashant Bhushan says Gogoi nomination a ‘blow’, Amitabh Kant on urban corona issues

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‘Hope SC initiates contempt proceedings’

Gogoi, who spoke to Republic TV Friday, said he hoped the Supreme Court will initiate contempt proceedings against those questioning the independence of the judiciary in light of his nomination.

“What is independence of the judiciary? My acceptance of the nomination to Rajya Sabha is a quid pro quo and therefore it is a reward for the judgments delivered. Did I deliver any judgments sitting alone?” he asked.

He then said that statements such as these are “highly contemptuous” as they “cast an aspersion on the judges who were a part of the bench”.

“Are you suggesting that the other members of the bench, whose tenure is going to be complete before the tenure of the present government, have also guaranteed their post-retirement package?” he further asked.

Gogoi “hopes and wishes” that the Supreme Court takes suo motu notice of such claims and initiates contempt proceedings “at least against the prominent ones who’re making the statements.”

“I don’t think it’ll happen, though it should happen,” he added.


Also read: Those criticising Ranjan Gogoi nomination forgot he became CJI after being a dissenting judge


‘You don’t say no…’

Talking about why he accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination, Gogoi told Republic TV, “My acceptance of the nomination stems from a firm belief that when the President requests for your services, you don’t say no.

“I was looking forward to retirement … but when the call came, I could not have shirked it by saying that I want to take my holidays, I want to live life the way I want,” he added.

Gogoi made similar statements in his interview to India Today, saying, “I accepted the nomination for the same reason I accepted the judgeship at the age of 45, when I had a lucrative practice. There is a practice in the bar that when a judgeship is offered, you don’t refuse. When the President makes an offer, you don’t refuse.”

As for the demand for a cooling off period before judges can take up post-retirement jobs, Gogoi countered, “How do you then man the tribunals, which are headed by retired Supreme Court judges?”


Also read: Ayodhya, Rafale and more – 5 big Ranjan Gogoi verdicts that ‘worked in favour of Modi govt’


 

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10 Comments Share Your Views

10 COMMENTS

  1. For all that is being said, let us hope the Ex- CJI gets an opportunity on the floor of the house to talk about independence of judiciary and in doing so he strips clean the who is who in the Bar and Media for us to know how the gang functions.

  2. ‘When President requests for your service, you don’t say No” is what former CJI said for having accepted his nomination to Rajya Sabha. Yes, he is right if it was a service that President thought fit for the person, but Justice Ranjan Gogoi knows it well nomination by the President is in fact on the recommendation of the PM and virtually it is is PM’s service, if at all he calls it a service. Justice Gogoi has also suggested that someone should take up with the supreme court to file contempt of court for having tagged the question of independence of Judiciary with that of his nomination. Why Justice Gogoi is not filing such PIL for contempt of court. This also shows Justice Gogoi’s mindset which reflects autocratic and contemptuous to the criticism that he cannot face. Ranjan Gogoi former CJI must explain which Judge has sat over allegations against himself other than Justice Gogoi?

  3. What about journalists? Write one article on morality of journalists. Some section of your fraternity are writing articles against our country for few dollars in international and local media also. As regards the morality of judges, Mr. Gogoi was a part of that unprecedented press conference by judges against justice Mishra. Then Gogoi was hero for some people and he has become villianm now. It is crystal clear that the press conference by judges was stage managed by vested interests and who are those vested interests is well known.

  4. He makes valid points. We live in an era of sensationalized media trials where news anchors and journalists themselves like to pronounce judgement according to their personal opinions and politics, ignoring the actual judiciary that has the authority and qualifications to deliver justice.

    That being said as they say Caesar’s wife has to be above suspicion. There is no logical reason to suspect Gogoi of any Quid Quo Pro but the timing of his Rajya Sabha nomination is not good.

  5. Gogoi in parliament makes Phoolan Devi look like a saint. At least poor Phoolan had to seek election from our ‘janta janardan’. Way to go India!

  6. As usual, threaten critics with contempt proceedings. I may have clear conscience about accepting an offer by the President. But, how other perceive it is more important. Propriety is not a private virtue. It must be seen to be practiced.

  7. One question begs for an answer. Why was a copy of the Enquiry Report not furnished to the complainant ? She made grave allegations of sexual misconduct against a serving CJI. Put those on an affidavit, sent to all serving Justices of the apex court. If the allegations were completely untrue, she should have jailed for perjury and criminal defamation, not reinstated with full benefits.

  8. There is no question of contempt proceedings being initiated in this case. Gentleman is no longer a Judge, who enjoys such protections, which in any case ought to be renewed in the interests of transparency and accountability. In fact, as an MP, although nominated, not elected in the rough and tumble of politics, he must get accustomed to both scrutiny and criticism. Some of it very personal, even unfair. Learn from our Editor, who takes it on the chin, seldom blocks critics. 2. One intriguing statement, not quoted in this column, is the reference to a “ Lobby “ of six persons which dictates to the higher judiciary. Is often followed out of fear. Remarkable that over a twenty year career in the higher judiciary, he never spoke about this cabal or took effective steps to put it out of business. Brought to mind Mrs Gandhi’s foreign hand. 3. Shri Pratap Bhanu Mehra’s column remains the gold standard on this issue. The acceptance of a Rajya Sabha sear now makes him vulnerable to the most penetrating scrutiny. Especially for non judicial activities like inappropriate behaviour.

  9. Tell Shekhar Gupta ……… Think of no evil, write no evil and stay away from all evil.

    Alternatively quit the Lutyens evil area.

  10. The Print and the author of this article, both have tried to hide a very important remark that the former CJI made. He told Republic TV” that there is a group of some people who always want the decisions to be made as per their liking. If it goes against them they gang up and smear the reputation of the judge who delivers the verdict which is contarary to their views.” What does this mean ? Possibly he must be hinting at Sibal, Singhvi, Prashant Bhushan, Indira Jaising and some others who get a hearing at the drop of a hat and out of turn. Shekhar Gupta who amplifies what these gang members often say was in forefront when Ranjan Gogoi held the presser along with 3 other judges criticising the way cases were handed out to the bench, indicating some kind of connivance of the executive. That time D Raja of the Left had also met Justice Chamaleshwar at his home. Why ? What was he doing there ? The media should name and shame as to who are these people who try and influence SC judges to give every decision in their favour, which the ex CJI Gogoi was refering to. I am absolutely amazed as how this most important takeaway from Gogoi’s interview has been brushed up under the carpet.

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