New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph on Tuesday lambasted on former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for accepting the Rajya Sabha seat offered to him by President Ram Nath Kovind and said that he “who once exhibited such courage of conviction” has now compromised his noble principles and the judiciary’s independence at large. Also Read - ‘COVID-19 Tests Must be Conducted Free of Cost in Govt, Private Labs,’ Supreme Court Tells Centre
“I’m 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 as quoted by news agency ANI. Also Read - 'Demonising Community': In Top Court, Muslim Body Seeks End to 'Fake News' Over Tablighi Jamaat
Interestingly, Gogoi’s nomination to the upper house comes in just four months of his retirement. Also Read - Coronavirus: Cases Rise to 4281, Total Deaths at 111, States Hint at Extending Lockdown Beyond April 14 | Top Points
“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 retired judge told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Kapil Sibal had also attacked Gogoi over his nomination to the Rajya Sabha by the President and accused him of having compromised his own integrity as well as that of the Supreme Court.
“Justice H R Khanna remembered for — 1) his integrity 2)standing up to govt. 3) upholding rule of law Ranjan Gogoi for lapping up a Rajya Sabha nomination for 1) being saved by govt. 2) standing in line with it 3) compromising his own and the integrity of the institution,” Sibal said in a tweet.
Gogoi, who headed benches that pronounced several key judgements including in the sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case, has been facing severe flak after he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the BJP government at Centre. The 46th CJI had retired in November last year, after leading the Supreme Court for around 13 months. He was succeeded by the incumbent CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde.