Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday said that he accepted the nomination for the Rajya sabha as he felt that his presence in parliament will “be an opportunity to project the views of the judiciary before the legislative and vice versa”.
“I will go to Delhi probably tomorrow. Let me first take oath, then I will speak in detail to the media why I accepted this…,” he told reporters in Guwahati. “I have accepted it since I have a strong conviction that the legislative and the judiciary must at some point of time work together for nation-building. My presence in parliament will be an opportunity to project the views of the judiciary before the legislature and vice versa,” he said.
Justice Gogoi had retired in November last year after presiding over the Supreme Court for around 13 months. He was among the four sitting top court judges who had held a first-of-its-kind press conference in January 2018 when Dipak Misra was the Chief Justice. They had alleged selective “assignment of cases to preferred judges” and “sensitive cases were being allotted to junior judges” by Justice Dipak Misra.
As a judge, Ranjan Gogoi had headed the constitution bench that had delivered a landmark judgment in the temple-mosque dispute in Ayodhya. The court had handed the disputed 2.77-acre land for a temple and granted 5 acres for a mosque at an alternative location in Ayodhya.
He was also part of the bench that gave a clean chit to the government in the case regarding the acquisition of the Rafale jets, saying there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 fighter jets.
There were also allegations of sexual harassment against him by an employee of the court, but he was cleared by the three-member Supreme Court panel that was looking into the matter.
His nomination has been attacked by opposition parties. AIMIM leader and Lok Sabha MP Asauddin Owaisi tweeted: “Is it “quid pro quo”? How will people have faith in the Independence of Judges? Many Questions.” Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha too took to Twitter: “hope ex-cji Ranjan Gogoi would have the good sense to say ‘NO’ to the offer of Rajya Sabha seat to him. Otherwise he will cause incalculable damage to the reputation of the judiciary.”