The Hush Post| 9:53 pm|one-minute-read|
In an interesting development, former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been nominated to Rajya Sabha.
As a CJI, Ranjan Gogoi had presided over many crucial benches that delivered several landmark judgments. These included Ramjanambhoomi land dispute, the abolition of homosexuality in India, entry of women in Sabrimala temple and Right to Privacy as a fundamental right.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s tenure as judge and as Chief Justice of India (CJI) was clearly controversial. Also, there were personal allegations against him that never came in the way of his judicial work that was reflected in the last few days when benches headed by him delivered some path-breaking judgments.
He etched his name in the annals of history when a five-judge bench headed by him on November 9 brought an end to the Ayodhya land dispute, which dates back to even before the Supreme Court came into existence in 1950.
However, his tenure in the Supreme Court will also be remembered for being part of a presser by the ‘gang of four’ senior-most judges in January last year which questioned the then CJI’s way of functioning.
Later at a public function, Justice Ranjan Gogoi had remarked that “independent judges and noisy journalists are democracy’s first line of defence.”
A “revolution, not reform” was needed to keep the institution of judiciary serviceable for the common man, Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said at the same function.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s tenure as CJI was not free of controversy as he faced allegations of sexual harassment. He was cleared of those charges.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s name will also be remembered for heading a bench which gave clean chit to the Modi government twice — first on the writ petition and then on Thursday on the pleas seeking review of the December 14, 2018 verdict — in the Rafale fighter jet deal with French firm Dassault Aviation.
The bench warned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing certain remarks to the Supreme Court in the Rafale case and asked him to be more careful in the future.
Besides, Justice Ranjan Gogoi headed a bench which, in a landmark verdict, held that the office of the CJI is a public authority under the Right to Information Act, but “judicial independence has to be kept in mind” while disclosing information in “public interest.”