A day after oath-taking in the Rajya Sabha, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi spoke to Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network, on the controversy surrounding his nomination, his important cases including Ayodhya and Rafale verdict, independence of the judiciary among others.
Former CJI Gogoi said, "My acceptance of the nomination of Rajya sabha is a quid pro quo and therefore it is a reward. Did I deliver the judgements sitting alone? Statements are highly contemptuous. It casts an aspersion n the judges of the bench. Are you suggesting that the other members of the bench whose tenure is going to be complete during the tenure of the present government have been guaranteed their post-retirement package? I hope and I wish, but I don't think it will happen,, SC takes suo-moto cognisance and begins a contempt proceeding, at least the prominent ones should be punished. I don't think it will happen though it should happen because the entire judiciary today has come in the stranglehold of a handful of people. Independence of judiciary and independence of judge is judged by the judgements delivered by their choice if the judgement goes other than what they expect, the judge is not independent. Therefore, look at the controversy, look at Rafale. It was largely unanimous."
#NationWantsToKnow | If a post-retirement accommodation is the ultimate aim for which all judgments took place, would a reasonable man, a practical man, have opted for something better?: Rajya Sabha MP and Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi to Arnab Goswami; Tune in - https://t.co/jghcajZuXf pic.twitter.com/FuWCycNyYO— Republic (@republic) March 20, 2020
The Opposition has targeted the BJP for the nomination of Ranjan Gogoi as the Rajya Sabha MP. Congress leader PL Punia while speaking with news agency ANI had called it an act of patronage of the government towards Gogoi alleging that the former CJI gave many verdicts in favour of NDA government. Congress leader Kapil Sibal had questioned the nomination of ex-CJI in Rajya Sabha and had accused Gogoi of 'compromising the integrity of the institution'. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi called it ‘Quid Pro Quo’ further raising questions how the independence of the judiciary will remain after the inclusion of a former judge into the legislative body. Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra called the ex-CJI a “greedy lord” and asked if he was “Politician or judge all along?”
On Monday evening, President Ramnath Kovind nominated former CJI Gogoi as a Rajya Sabha MP. The President has under clause (1) of Article 80 of the Constitution, nominated the former CJI to fill the vacancy in Rajya Sabha due to the retirement of one of the nominated member. Gogoi had retired after pronouncing the historic Ayodhya verdict. 51 seats in Rajya Sabha will fall vacant in April, five more in June, one in July, and 11 in November this year.