New Delhi: A day after several questions were raised on Ranjan Gogoi’s nomination to Rajya Sabha, the former Chief Justice of India (CJI) asserted that he will speak about it (nomination) after taking oath. “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…,” a leading portal quoted Gogoi as saying. Also Read - Coronavirus Lockdown: EC Defers Rajya Sabha Polls Yet Again, Fresh Dates Awaited
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Kapil Sibal had attacked Gogoi over his nomination to the Rajya Sabha by President Ram Nath Kovind and accused him of having compromised his own integrity as well as that of the Supreme Court. Also Read - Rajya Sabha Elections Deferred in Wake of COVID-19 Outbreak
Justice Gogoi, 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. Also Read - Gogoi Takes Oath Amid 'Shame, Shame' Chants; Grossly Unfair, Says RS Prasad
“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”, tweeted the Congress leader.
Former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha also criticised Gogoi and said that he had hoped the latter would reject the nomination.
“I 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”, tweeted Sinha.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury recalled how the former CJI himself had criticised post-retirement gigs for judges in the past. “What must one make of a govt that does this, after appointing another ex-Chief Justice as the governor of a state?” he asked.
All India Majlis-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi wondered if this was quid pro quo. “Is it “quid pro quo”? How will people have faith in the Independence of Judges ? Many Questions”, tweeted the AIMIM leader.
Yesterday, the Home Ministry had issued a notification announcing that President Kovind is nominating Gogoi to fill the vacancy originating due to retirement of one of the nominated members.
Gogoi had headed the five-judge bench which delivered a landmark judgement in 70-year-old Ayodhya title dispute in November 2019. The apex court had ordered the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site by setting up a trust, while ordering five acres be given to Muslims in Ayodhya to construct a mosque.