CJI Ranjan Gogoi
CJI Ranjan Gogoi | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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ThePrint has learnt that CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s objections forced Modi govt to backtrack on bypassing senior-most Gujarat HC judge for acting chief justice.

New Delhi: It took a strongly-worded missive from Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for the Narendra Modi government to stop a Gujarat High Court judge from being designated as the court’s acting chief justice.

The judge the Modi government had backed — Justice Anantkumar S. Dave — was the second senior-most judge in the high court after Justice A.A. Kureshi.

The CJI’s letter, sources in the Supreme Court told ThePrint, was sent early morning on 2 November and was addressed to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

In his letter, CJI Gogoi took exception to the Centre’s “highly arbitrary decision” in designating Justice Dave — number two in seniority among puisne judges of the Gujarat High Court — as the acting chief justice.


Also read: Supreme Court to hear plea questioning Modi govt delays in appointing judges


In the process, the Centre had ignored Justice Kureshi, the senior-most judge, whose transfer to Bombay High Court has been notified. Justice Kureshi, however, has time till 15 November to take oath as a judge of the Bombay High Court.

The post of chief justice in the Gujarat High Court fell vacant as Justice R. Subhash Reddy, was elevated to the Supreme Court last week.

Sources said CJI Gogoi was upset with the decision to designate Justice Dave as the acting chief justice and not Justice Kureshi since it went against established norms and propriety, something that he is learnt to have clearly indicated in his letter.

It is also learnt that some senior Supreme Court judges had also expressed their apprehensions over the government’s move.

Centre acted quickly to defuse row

It is learnt that the having been caught on the wrong foot, the Centre acted swiftly to control the issue from spiralling into yet another tussle with the higher judiciary. Within hours, a new notification was issued and Justice Kureshi was made the acting chief justice.

Sources said a special messenger was also sent by the government to deliver the new notification to the office of the CJI.


Also read: Judge who hailed Modi as ‘hero’ is among four new Supreme Court judges


The transfer of Justice Kureshi to the Bombay High Court has attracted controversy, with lawyers in the Gujarat High Court going on an indefinite strike Friday in protest against the Supreme Court collegium’s decision to transfer him.

ThePrint had earlier reported that Gujarat High Court Bar has alleged that Justice Kureshi was being transferred from Gujarat as the Modi government ‘dislikes’ him.

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11 Comments Share Your Views

11 COMMENTS

  1. Kudos to Ranjan Gogoi and shame on Ravi Prasad. This is an excellent example of the need for establishing the independence and integrity of the Judiciary. As long as there are individuals like Gogoi, we can be hopeful that our Constitution and Democracy will be safeguarded against the onslaught of the immoral and shameless government which has a nefarious agenda.

  2. Every one should understand understand government working.
    Once someone is transferred from an organization he is technically no more in that organization.
    So everyone new that number one has been transferred.
    So now number next in seniority becomes senior most.
    If highest judiciary was so concerned about acting chief justice.
    They should have not recommended the transfer.
    Having done they can still run by recommending a chief justice of high court which will terminate the acting ad-hoc arrangement.
    Govt is not wife of Court to ask every for approval of every step even though wife has also been authories by court to have independent view.
    Hail rotten views

  3. Justice Gogoi you are doing very well..
    What you are doing is setting an example for generations to come..
    Congrats sir…

  4. It takes a tall figure to secure integrity of an institution. Institutions survive even with the effort of a single individual. These single individuals are, fortunately, working silently in all spheres of life. And they all are not celebrities or ‘icons’ ????????

  5. It’s not understood why politicians don’t have morale courage to strictly adhered to the norms fixed under the constitution!!! It can be construed that there could be some fear complexities in the mind of Law Ministry.

  6. Under the Constitution who is Supreme? No doubt ” the People” Who are the ” People” by the way? Undoubtedly the representatives thereof elected by the people , the Parilament.
    The President of India is the appointing authority of High Court and Supreme Court judges in consultation with the CJI. Consultation does never mean” compulsion” . The President may or may not agree with the recommendation of the so called Collegium not provided in the Constitution anywhere. If the judges select themselves, it is anarchy and not the ” rule of law” It is the rule of thumb by the judiciary. If they want that the President should be used as a rubber stamp of the CJI. It I’d all the more unconstitutional and the insult of the “People” the Supreme one. The President should courageous my refuse to appoint a person selected by the CJI. He should ask for a panel of names from which the President can select in consultation with the CJI.

  7. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist, Barnala(Punjab)

    Hail Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Chief Justice of India !

    Very well done !

    Those at the helm of affairs of nation in the executive are taking pleasure in throwing the norms and the law of the land to wind with impunity !

    Therfore, the bulk of burden and responsibility, GOGOI SIR lies on your brave shoulders to keep the nation on the right track !

    The nation is indeed proud of you !

    Please keep this spirit up in future too not to overlook and not to yield before wrongs, foul play, highhandedness and impropriety ln any field of life !

    The Almighty and Nation is with you in this just and noble mission !

    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala (Punjab)

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