New Delhi, June 19: Narendra Modi-led Centre on Monday clarified its stand on appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI), saying there is no reason to question government’s intention. Addressing a press conference, which was organised to highlight the achievements of the Law Ministry in the past four years, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said,”The question is imaginary. As far as the appointment of the Chief Justice of India is concerned, the convention is clear. The sitting chief justice names the senior-most judge (of the top court) as his successor. When the name comes to us, we will discuss it. No one had the right to question our intention.”
Apparently, questions over appointment as next CJI have been raised after Justice Ranjan Gogoi along with three other senior most judges (J Chelameswar, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph) of the Supreme Court went public against the CJI Dipak Misra, earlier this year. They had criticised Misra over allocation of cases, especially a case relating to the death of CBI judge BH Loya that was assigned to a judge who is number 10 in the Supreme Court hierarchy.
Notably, as per the existing convention only CJI can forward the name of his successor to the government and thus questions were raise if Justice Misra will recommend the name of Justice Gogoi after the unparalleled event.
A few days back, when Justice Chelameswar was asked whether he was apprehensive or feared that Justice Gogoi, who was part of the November 2017 letter written to the CJI and the presser, will not be elevated as the next CJI, Justice Chelameswar said he hoped it does not happen and if it happened, it will be proved that what they said in the January 12 press conference was true.
“I am not an astrologer I am not (worried). I hope that does not happen (Justice Gogoi being denied CJI’s position). If it happens, it will only prove what we said in the press conference was true,” he had said.