File photo of Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi | Manisha Mondal/ThePrint
File photo of Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi | Manisha Mondal/ThePrint
Text Size:

New Delhi: At a time when Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and the Supreme Court is besieged with controversies, Gogoi asked a litigant Thursday to trust the judges and not damage the institution.

Gogoi refused to recuse himself from hearing a case raised by litigant Harsh Mander on the detention and deportation of declared foreigners in Assam.

Mander, an activist, pleaded that Gogoi step away from hearing his plea, seeking to end indefinite detention, because of “subconscious bias”.

CJI Gogoi, during a previous hearing on the issue, had lashed out at the Assam government’s proposed move to conditionally release declared foreigners languishing in its detention centres for over five years.

“Learn to trust your judges. The day you don’t, I’ve had it. See what damage you have done to the institution,” Gogoi said, dismissing Mander’s plea.

“All we would like to say is that the inability/difficulty of a judge to hear the matter should be by the judge himself and not the litigant,” added Gogoi.

The three-judge bench — which comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna — then struck off Mander’s name as the main petitioner and appointed his counsel Prashant Bhushan as the Amicus Curiae “to agitate the issues in this matter”.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


Also read: CJI Ranjan Gogoi appears before panel probing sexual harassment charges against him

‘My plea was turned on its head’

The hearing saw a lot of drama.

Mander submitted that his plea was not being accepted by the registry and so he was compelled to file it before the judges. To this, the CJI said, “We will accept your application. But this is not a filing counter.”

Mander then went on to submit his apprehensions and reasons for seeking Gogoi’s recusal. His primary concern was that his petition, which sought to seek human rights for those detained in detention camps in Assam, was being turned on its head.

Referring to the CJI’s observation made during the previous hearing on this issue where he pulled up Assam’s chief secretary for the state government’s proposed move to conditionally release foreigners, Mander said those oral observations had a deep impact on the ground that resulted in fear and more arrests.

“My petition for release of detenues has been converted to more people being deported and detained. Arrests have started. There is an atmosphere of fear,” Mander submitted.

“The plea sought the release of those detained, despite the conditions imposed. But it was turned into more people being detained and forcefully deported,” he said. “Subconscious bias if there is, it’s better if another judge hears this.”

The CJI took umbrage to Mander’s lengthy submission. “What if we say you have been set up by Assam government to file this application?” Gogoi asked Mandar.

“You are perhaps unaware of the entire situation and that’s why we don’t allow lay people to get into proceedings. When a court debate takes place, a judge says a lot of things. What is said in a debate was taken by you for an opinion. You are quoting from sentences you may have read somewhere. Did you go by the written orders? How can you form an opinion that we have pre-judged the matter. Is this how you serve the country,” Gogoi said.

“You wouldn’t know the real issues involved. Your anxiety is the violations of human rights. The chief secretary knows what’s really happening. Is this how real proceedings must go on? A litigant questions the impartiality of the judge,” CJI said.

The previous hearing

At the previous hearing on 26 April, the apex court had lashed out at the Assam government over its proposal to conditionally release and monitor those declared foreigners who have been lodged in detention camps for over five years. The court had said that it would not be party to such a move, which is both illegal and violative of the Constitution.

The CJI had also added that the Assam government’s proposed measure reflected its failure to deport declared foreigners.

Also read: SC order ‘fudged to help Anil Ambani’ case back under scanner in CJI Ranjan Gogoi crisis

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

4 Comments Share Your Views


  1. It is just a scam to fraud and exploit the CJI. REASON: Just use your common sense, the lady’s whole family is corrupt: the husband was suspended for corrupt practice, you all know how those corrupt police men work in New Delhi, Haryana and UP.
    Secondly, the lady does’t now dare to face the court proceedings of the complaint ,she made ,by the senior judges of the Judiciary and she abruptly withdrew from the proceedings. This Stupid Lady was sacked due to inefficiency and corrupt business and now she and her so called corrupt husband mingled with some corrupt lawyers or advocates ,the so called hungy stray dogs to sue and defame the CJI….What a joke! In short, this lady and her corrupt husband along with a few corrupt advocates planned a scam to make a fake story and then demanding financial damages from the CJI. These people are in fact , very felty , poor people and well know with their corrupt practice in the society. SHAME ON THEM AND THOSE CORRUPT HUNGY STREET DOGS, THOSE ADVOCATES. MAKE SURE THE JUSTICE SYSTEM OF INDIA GOES TO THE BOTTOM and PUT THOSE CORRUPT PEOPLE BEHIND BAR.

  2. Learn to trust your judges/doctors. The day you don’t, I’ve had it. See what damage you have done to the institution/medical profession” Gogoi said, dismissing Mander’s plea.

    “All we would like to say is that the inability/difficulty of a judge/doctor to hear/treat the matter/case should be by the judge himself and not the litigant or judges,”

  3. Foreigners languishing in detention centres for over five years sounds like Trump’s America more than Gandhiji’s India.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here