CJI Gogoi
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When former Supreme Court Justice Ranjan Gogoi and three other judges – most senior after then Chief Justice Dipak Misra – trooped out to the lawns of the official residence of Justice Jasti Chelameswar to hold a press conference in January 2018 to express concern over the arbitrary manner in which Misra was running the top court, many said Gogoi would be a shining example of integrity and propriety when he ascends to the top position.

Misra was allegedly assigning sensitive cases to select judges, taking pending cases out of the hands of senior judges like Justice Chelameswar and handing them to benches headed by other judges.

Weeks after Ranjan Gogoi assumed office as the Chief Justice of India, he showed to the entire world that his words at the historic 2018 press conference meant little.

But he still had the opportunity to politely refuse the Narendra Modi government nomination to the Rajya Sabha, made public Monday evening. But Gogoi, on Tuesday, justified his acceptance saying, “[it will] be an opportunity to project the views of the judiciary before the legislative and vice versa.”

Someone as sharp as Justice Gogoi should have known to turn down the nomination given the widespread condemnation.

But, if history has taught us anything, the chances of that happening are as likely as the top five loan defaulter-businessmen paying back every penny plus interest owed by them to India.

There are several reasons why Justice Gogoi will take oath as a Rajya Sabha MP in the next few days. Here are some.


Also read: ‘Rebel’ judge to Rajya Sabha: Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi hurting SC image or being harshly judged?


He wanted it and worked to get it

While the Narendra Modi government may want the gullible to accept the explanation that the Rajya Sabha nomination is an honour granted to those who have immensely contributed to society in their chosen field, the fact is that it is seldom the case. For example, Sachin Tendulkar, who might have had a blink-and-you-miss-it tenure as a nominated MP, did carry the weight of the lofty expectations of a billion-plus people every time he entered the cricket field; or eminent lawyer Fali Nariman, who has remained a strong and passionate conscience keeper of the higher judiciary.

But in recent times, the Rajya Sabha nomination has been used to reward those who toe a particular line.

As CJI, Justice Gogoi often attracted, not always baseless, the charge that he was currying favour with the Modi government, using his power as master of the roster to ensure that the government arguments always managed to prevail in politically-sensitive cases.

Since his retirement, there were enough indications to suggest he wanted a post-retirement job. His decision to shift base to Assam – his home-state – after retirement was always viewed with a bucketful of suspicion. However, Justice Gogoi isn’t the first judge or retired CJI to curry favour with the government of the day with an eye on a cushioned, post-retirement job.

Compared to governorship (former CJI P. Sathasivam) or NHRC chairman (former CJI H.L. Dattu), being a mere nominated Rajya Sabha MP will always be seen as a downgrade. But, there’s a simple explanation to why he would be more than happy with even this.


Also read: Gogoi picked for Rajya Sabha — 2017 study tells us how judges manage to land such benefits


He can always cite precedence

Whatever our personal views on him, there’s little doubt that Justice Gogoi knows his law, especially one that follows precedence.

He can cite examples to claim that he isn’t the first former CJI or Supreme Court judge to accept such a favour from the government. Former Chief Justice Ranganath Misra gave a  clean chit to the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress for its role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. After his retirement, Misra was made the first chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and, less than two years after his term as NHRC chairman ended, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha on a Congress ticket in 1998.

Gogoi can also cite the example of former Chief Election Commissioner M.S. Gill, a constitutional functionary, who was not only given two terms in the Rajya Sabha by the Congress but also made a Union minister.

But, will India forgive Justice Gogoi for his actions just because someone else did it before him?

A better example for him to emulate could have been former CJI Tirath Singh Thakur, who when offered a seat in the Rajya Sabha by the Aam Aadmi Party in 2017, politely turned it down, because accepting the offer could lower the prestige of the high office he had held.


Also read: Ranjan Gogoi led the revolution in judiciary last year, as CJI he is now killing it


He sees ‘nothing wrong in it’

The excuse that Justice Gogoi is likely to offer, after he takes oath, is that he sees nothing wrong in accepting a nomination to the Rajya Sabha from the President. He is also likely to say he hasn’t joined any political party and will remain independent of party politics and keep contributing to society.

But, in these politically-charged times, no one will buy it. For the 11 nominated Rajya Sabha MPs, with whom the former CJI will share space inside the house, eight are aligned to the BJP.

There will be many, rightly so, who will ascribe his nomination as a reward from the Modi government for services rendered as CJI. And, by happily accepting the nomination, Gogoi will only strengthen the case of his detractors.

He knows if he doesn’t accept it, others are in line (who will happily accept it).

Only those with a high moral compass have the courage to say no to such an opportunity. And, sadly for the Indian judiciary, Justice Ranjan Gogoi lacks that courage.

The author is a senior journalist. Views are personal.

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39 Comments Share Your Views

39 COMMENTS

  1. I go ,go , I , to high places , sing thy praises wherever I go go I , tell shame to go , critics to go to hell, I go go I , CJI , judge in my own case ,no go ,go I to jail , Yes Sir, my mantra not gogoin to fail.

  2. This particular CJI has in the history of Indian judiciary caused immense damage to the country by his wrong judgement and patronizing the BJP party and govt, using his judicial power !. That is the reward he got from Modi & Co. He divided the people of India on religious issue, citizenship issue, corruption issue etc.Shame less man with equally greediness for post and money, nothing else…nothing less…and nothing more !!!

  3. FIRST, nobody who is questioning Gogoi’s appointment can question previous similar appointments made by the Congress, though those appointments came much later after retirement. It is really amusing that BJP has to defend its measures by referring to what its enemy party did. This would be like Congress defending Hindutva by referring to BJP, a case of the devil citing the scriptures. Secondly, Gogoi himself publicly defended the independence of the Judiciary (for which he said post-retirement appointments serve as a hindrance) during the famous rebel press conference and later during a judgement and during a lecture. He became a changed person AFTER SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATION when government sided with him. After that he did many things favouring the government (sealed envelope, delaying anti-government petitions, passing a string of pro-executive judgements, although in these judgements there were other judges with him; Ayodhya verdict, for example, was unanimous and Justice Nisar, a Muslim, and the supposedly progressive Justice Chandrachud favoured that verdict despite strong criticism from many quarters). Justice Gogoi is his own enemy when we consider the principles he enunciated.

  4. Currently Kamal Nath is not holding confidence vote and I have seen no specific article on this and absolutely no editorial. But had BJP chief minister done so it would have been travesty of justice, murder of democracy and judges would had passed mid night orders in underwear.

  5. The Indian Citizens consider Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Judiciary of Supreme court are the last and
    the only saviours of Constitution of India. The Honorable Retired Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will have to answer his conscience
    and Dharma he believes and try to take action as to uphold the Constitution and Constitutionalism and great
    Bharatavarsha Dharma of upholding Justice against all odds. Hon. Retired Justice Gogoi has to answer non other than his
    own conscience and accept or reject the nomination. May the Lord Rama or Shiva or Brahma whatever God he believes
    show him a Right Path – wishes of a Swadeshi Indian Citizen of India

  6. INDIA needs legal luminaries like Mr GOGOI. As a independent minded person he will ensure he will be able to guide government policies which are positive and not anti majority just to ensure a lop sided and poisonous ideology is hoisted on Hindus

  7. Precedent of appointing CJI after retirement was started by Congress Party. They nominated for Vice President of India,MP in Rajya Sabha & Governor Post (as few example). The same Press & Journalists who praised Gogai to sky height when he held Press Conference along with his 3 colleagues against working of CJI. Actually Press & Journalists should have condemned it( as like Union Leaders exhibit such un-precedent behavior). But Press & Journalists liked it because they can shoot arrows against CJI & Govt. One must remember, it was not Gogai alone given Judgement in various sensitives cases. It was Bench consisting 3 to 5 Senior Judges & Judgement was unanimous. Than all other Judges are bunch of “Yes Men” to toe Gogai? I feel, we ourselves degrading our judiciary system to lowest level by making non-sense allegation. Press & Journalist are not holy Cow, among them many sold out for money,Political favor,lobbying with Foreign entities etc. Judiciary is being maligned for Political gain. Gogoi should ignore all criticism made with biased objectives.

  8. Something very big and out-of-box is in the making and Modi believes he needs Gogoi’s expertise in achieving it. Nobody knows about it except Modi and Shah. Wait and watch it happen.

  9. So this is how BJP and GOGI made a deal, favoured judgment on ram temple issue in return rajyasabha seat, thanks for showing your real monkey face.

  10. Usual useless and biased article against Modi government. Paid media. There is no doubt against it.
    If somebody suspect the Ayodhya verdict they did not read/understand the judgement in detail.

  11. The way he rushed controversial mandir dispute same way he was plump post in reward. Review petition rejected at the gate itself mockery compared to Sabarimala temple entry case review peition accepted. Double standards.

  12. How does he expiring the reinstatement of the woman he allegedly molested? What was the Ayodhya judgement all about? On one hand you admit that the razing of the mosque was illegal and in the same breath you give the title to the Hindu groups. What was the Rafale case all about? You ask for information in sealed covers and then dismiss the case without disclosing the information you obtained in the sealed cover. This man is compromised and has ultimately found his place in the right place – the parliament!

  13. It’s become habit especially for journalists, politicians, so called analysts(dozen a dine) etc., that they are consciousness keepers in the nation to find negativities in what ever happens around. How much hidden within one’s own will never see the light in such people. Nor they have the moral guts to see the positivities in such given developments.

  14. It was predestined. Nripendra Mishra set Gogoi meeting and it was agreed that he will be given the seat in lieu of favours done.

  15. This newspaper finds noting wrong with the mother and son duo and their corruption stories. By not writing against them, they also convince their readers that this newspaper and its chamchas, I mean the writers, are the doormats of the Congress party.

  16. Gogoi got his return gift. But it seems he has settled the rates very cheaply. Disgrace to the post he held. It seems the judicial conscience has died long ago.

  17. Perfectly summed article. The judiciary was sold the moment Gogoi took office. I feel he has been intimidated by ruling government that if he doesn’t listen then he would meet the same fate as justice Loyola. The ram mandir verdict & Rafael deal looks so biased now since he has taken up the Rajya Sabha seat. Very sad to see the judiciary become like this. But then alas! under dictators, the entire system fears for their lives.

  18. I am happy he has chosen company of cheaters,tadipar ,rapist terrorist,and m.p.with criminal records.After all judges livelihood bdepends on such people .He will feel at home in their company well-done gogoi.and set a good precedent for other judges of Khap panchayat like you.

  19. People / media persons are brazenly casting aspersions on the nature of nomination of Rajya Sabha member. Does it not amount to contempt of court? A mere oblique reference by Harsh Mandar that perhaps CAA Protestors may not get favourable resolution was blown out of proportion by the Apex court. He was asked to explain his remark on Supreme court. It is a case of shooting the messenger and defering the order.

  20. Don’t agree with your allegations against Justice Gogoi . You never found anything wrong with Congress when they were manipulating judiciary during the past 70 years. Your blog smells of hypocrisy and only hatred for Modi. Too bad.

    • What has this column to do with what congress did in last 70 years? ARE YOU SAYING MODI IS ENTITLED TO DO WRONG BECAUSE THE CONGRESS DID? IF SO, THEN WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CONGRESS AND MODI? DIDN’T MODI SOLICIT VOTES SAYING HE WOULD CORRECT ALL THE WRONGS THAT THE CONGRESS DID? THEN HE SHOULD CORRECT THE WRONGS DID BY THE CONGRESS IN LAST 70 YEARS, AND NOT DO MORE WRONGS.

  21. Mr. Gogoi must take the OATH as a Rajya Sabha MP, he has been nominated by H.E. President of India.

    Let Takla COUP-ta and others burn!!🙄

  22. Remember Ishwar chand vidyasagar.

    Aoverseas visited got down at culcutta railway station and started shouting for a coolie the coolie came and asked sir where u want to go. Isharchand vidhyasagars house said the visitor. After reaching his destination the visitor asked where is Mr vidhyasagar some one pointed to the coolie and said sir he is Mr vidhyasagar.

    The moral of the story is this the legacy and modesty of Indian culture that Mr vidhyasagar could not bear the pain of the visitor and offered himself as coolie. But people like chhiber the print Congress and people like jaganath mishra have destroyed the culture of India by their duplicity to the extant that a honorable person like Mr gogoi is feeling the sham of the action thought and duplicity of these fake people.

  23. Fine edit in IE, headed Mr R Gogoi, MP. It quotes some of the lofty sentiments he expressed in his Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture, which are the most cogent arguments against what he has done.

  24. All talk of morality is reserved by the journalists and left- leaning authors “FOR OTHERS “. I mean -persons belonging to others professions like — law, public administration, Education, or any other profession/vocation. They themselves are free to mis-report, mislead , twist the news and views , act as mouth-piece of discredited and defeated politicians and political dynasties. They can invent logic , reasoning , motivation of/for “OTHERS ”
    CARRY ON. But remember people very much knew and can discriminate between news, views and “PARTY PROPAGANDA” This is 21st century, not fifties,sixties of last century when captive -print media and old timer –All India {INDIRA} Radio and Doordrashan was only channels giving sermons to “PRAJA”{people ]

  25. The purveyors of judicial propriety, vocally beating their chests over the nomination of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, are of the ilk of those counterparts who choose total silence when Justice Ranganatha Mishra accepted a Congress for the Rajya Sabha. The moral is that the Congress can do no wrong, but the BJP can do no right!

  26. By criticising Mr Gogai .people are indirectly criticising the Ram Mandir,Rafle judgement given by Supreme court.but thease people forgets that in Ram Mandir case there was 5 member bench and in Rafle case it was 3 member bench and judgement was unanimous there fore to say he helped Modi Government is far fetched.

  27. The author and the publishers are due seemed managing and enjoying the farce put up by Gogoi gang by holding judges press conference. When the judges were found master Patriots and particularly Gogoi a brilliant mind dumb journos began to beat their chest. The last straw or show was of course Ram janma decision. But Gogoi is not a congressi string puppet to dance for traitor party or journos.

  28. Wellthis is what you get for weaponizing judiciary. When 4 judges held conference it was bad precedence and opened up judiciary to politicization. Holding sessions at home in underwear are also bad precedence. Also there is no such thing as weaponization of mandate. The way is to come with alternate agenda and implement your mandate when you get it.

  29. The ex CJI should not have accepted the RS nomination, there is no law but a convention according to some experts. It is so surprising that these experts find it perfectly all right for the Mother & Son to continue in the Parliament despite being on BAIL and in dispute for unpaid taxes.

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