RTI activist Saket Gokhale has written to Attorney General K.K. Venugopal seeking his sanction to initiate contempt of court proceedings against former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for insulting the Supreme Court and for scandalizing and attempting to lower its dignity.
During an event organised by the India Today Group on February 12, 2021, Gogoi, a Rajya Sabha MP, made contemptuous statements on the judiciary system, Gokhale said.
Gokhale submitted that the comments made by the former CJI, who is now an MP constitute a gross contempt of court and undermine the status of the Supreme Court, especially considering they come from not a layperson but from someone who sat on the highest seat of the judiciary.
The comments made were, “You want a 5 trillion dollar economy but you have a ramshackled judiciary”, “If you were to go to the court, you would be only washing your dirty linen in the court, you won’t get a verdict I have no hesitation in saying it”, “Only corporations willing to take chances with their millions of rupees go to Supreme Court”, “What is your opinion of the judiciary? Not very positive”, “the judicial system has not worked for more reason than one”, “Unfortunately , there are many judges who are succumbing to criticism made in media”.
Many more comments were made by Gogoi and a full video recording of which can be found on a YouTube link, Gokhale added.
Further, Gokhale stressed on Gogoi’s comment, saying that it carries far more weight and results in a major scandalization of the judiciary as compared to when they are made by laypersons.
Citing contempt cases of comedian Kunal Kamra and artist Rachita Taneja, Gokhale said the prosecution consent granted by your office to these contempt cases has established a benchmark of what constitutes a contempt of court in your opinion. He claimed that former CJI’s comments were far more contemptuous in their degree and seriousness in scandalizing the Supreme Court than the innocent tweets made by other two individuals.