Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi took oath as a member of Rajya Sabha on Thursday, March 19 amid the chants of "shame" by the Opposition Congress MPs, who have termed the appointment an assault on the independence of the judiciary. He is likely to hold a press conference later today.
Amid criticism, President Ram Nath Kovind Monday, March 16 had nominated the former Chief Justice of India to the Rajya Sabha. The former CJI will be the 12th nominated member in the Upper House of Parliament and replace KTS Tulsi, who is retiring.
Justice (retired) Gogoi, however, defended his move and said that his presence in Parliament will be an opportunity to project the views of the judiciary to the legislative and vice versa.
"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," the former Chief Justice told reporters in Assam's Guwahati.
Gogoi on target of ex-colleagues
Questions are being raised on his nomination by the government and those raising it, includes his former colleagues -- Justices (retired) Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joesph -- who had also accompanied him to the unprecedented presser against CJI Misra. While Joesph said that the development has shaken the common man's confidence in the independence of the judiciary, Lokur asked whether the last bastion has fallen.
"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 Kurian said.
Although Gogoi has given his reason, he said that he will hold a press conference after taking oath as a Rajya Sabha MP and reveal why he accepted the offer. "I will go to Delhi probably tomorrow. Let me first take an oath, then I will speak in detail to the media why I accepted this...," Gogoi said.