Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi’s acceptance of nomination to the Rajya Sabha has invited sharp criticism from former fellow judges and legal luminaries and none more scathing than former apex court judge, Markandey Katju who called the ex-CJI, among other things, a “sexual pervert”.
“I have been a lawyer for 20 years and a judge for another 20. I have known many good judges and many bad judges. But I have never known any judge in the Indian judiciary as shameless and disgraceful as this sexual pervert Ranjan Gogoi. There was hardly any vice which was not in this man,” he tweeted.
Former apex court judge Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the four SC judges along with Gogoi to address the historic press conference on 12 January 2018 alleging “democracy is in danger as the independence of the judiciary is in peril” has come down heavily on the nomination of Gogoi as member of the Rajya Sabha saying that he has “compromised the noble principles” of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.
“According to me, the acceptance of nomination as a member of Rajya Sabha by a former CJI, has certainly shaken the confidence of the common man on the independence of the judiciary, which is also one of the basic structures of the Constitution of India,” the former judge said.
We have discharged our debt to the nation’ was the statement made by Justice Ranjan Gogoi along with the three of us on January 12, 2018.
“I am surprised as to how Justice Ranjan Gogoi who once exhibited such courage of conviction to uphold the independence of the judiciary, has compromised the noble principles on the independence and impartiality of the Judiciary,” Justice Joseph said.
Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice A P Shah and retired HC judge R S Sodhi also reacted sharply to Gogoi’s nomination by the government.
Former apex court judge Madan B Lokur, denounced the move and said that he will express his views once Gogoi speaks to the media in detail about accepting the offer of a seat to the Upper House.
Justice Lokur was also a part of the press conference to lash out at the then Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, said, “Wondering if the ‘last bastion’ had fallen.” The move will redefine the “independence, impartiality and integrity” of the judiciary.
Gogoi on Tuesday had 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.
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.