Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi Nominated To Rajya Sabha, Is It A Quid Pro Quo?

But Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi had his share of controversies as well, which involved charges as serious as sexual harassment.


New Delhi| “There is a viewpoint that post-retirement appointment is itself a scar on judicial independence of the judiciary.” When former CJI Ranjan Gogoi made this observation while hearing a case related to the appointment of former judges on tribunals in March 2019, he wouldn’t have thought that this would come back to haunt him just a year later.

On March 16, the home ministry issued a notification in the evening informing that President of India Ramnath Kovind had nominated former CJI Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha. The nomination was necessitated by retirement of KTS Tulsi. The move to nominate Gogoi to Rajya Sabha led to opposition leaders questioning the intent of the present-day government as much as it raised questions over the past judgements passed by the CJI.

Having headed the benches that pronounced judgements on the High Profile and even Political Sensitive matter, Justice Gogoi was subject to severe criticism.

Ayodhya Land Dispute Case:

Gogoi who was a part of the historic presser by the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court in 2018, helmed the hearings of Ayodhya land dispute hearing. In this case, he gave out the verdict in favour of the construction of Ram Temple. He ruled that the land belongs to Ramlala. However, he had also observed that Demolition was criminal.

Article 370 Petition:

After the Abrogation of Article 370, Kashmir was put under complete lockdown. Hearing the petition challenging the lockdown Gogoi had observed that while Human Rights matter, his bench has no time to hear the petition.

Operation Kamal:

Hearing the petition against the Operation Kamal in Karnataka that brought down the then ruling Congress-JDS govt in the state, Gogoi condemned the horse-trading. However, he withdrew the disqualification of MLAs allowing them to contest the elections again.

Rafale Case:

The case that drew him ire of the opposition and activists was the Rafale Case. Hearing the petition by Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan and Yashwant Sinha demanding a direction to CBI to probe the Rafale case, Ranjan Gogoi had given a clean chit to the Modi Govt. The verdict in Rafale case came as a relief to the Modi govt as opposition Congress’ entire campaign for the Lok Sabha elections was centred on the issue.

Apart from these cases, Ranjan Gogoi as former CJI heard cases like Triple Talaq, NRC, CBI Alok Verma vs Rakesh Asthana.

Also Read: Why Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi Accepted Rajya Sabha Nomination?

But Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi had his share of controversies as well, which involved charges as serious as sexual harassment. The sexual harassment allegations first came to light in April 2019, when three media houses published detailed reports on the ordeal the woman who was allegedly harassed sexually by the then CJI and her family had to face. Gogoi, however, denied all the allegations and shocked observers by presiding over an “emergency hearing” on the matter himself.

Today, while talking to the reporters, Justice Gogoi said that he will reveal the reason why he decided to join active politics after taking the oath.

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