Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Friday spoke with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in an exclusive interview over the allegations of quid pro quo that have been levelled against him. Since the time the President had nominated Gogoi as a Rajya Sabha MP till the time he took an oath, several comments flooded in against the former CJI, with the first Quid Pro Quo mention being made by Asaduddin Owaisi.
Speaking about it, Gogoi said, "These comments don't bother me and they don't sting me. For the simple reason that if it had been quid pro quo, perhaps it would have been something else, not a Rajya Sabha seat. The Rajya Sabha sits for about 65 days in a year. I have already said yesterday that I am not going to take any muniments of the office. It hardly bothers me."
He further added, "I perceive, and I think I am right that there is a certain section of people who are in the Parliament and also in the Supreme Court. Everybody knows them. We don't have to read out names. Perhaps, they were not very happy with the way I dealt with them when I was the CJI and earlier to that- a judge to the Supreme Court. So it is only natural that when I come to Parliament, they would not welcome me."
Speaking about his acceptance of the Rajya Sabha seat, the former CJI asked, "My acceptance of the nomination to RS is a quid pro quo and therefore, it is a reward for judgements delivered? Did I deliver any judgement sitting alone? The statements are highly contemptuous. It casts an expression on the judges who are a part of the bench."
He further added that he does not think that the other members of the bench whose tenure will be complete before the tenure of the present government, have also guaranteed their post-retirement package. "I hope and I wish, but I don't think it will happen because the entire judiciary today has come in a stranglehold in a handful of people," he said.
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 the 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 on 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?”
Days after his nomination to the Rajya Sabha by President Ramnath Kovind, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday morning has taken the oath. As Gogoi took the oath in presence of Rajya Sabha Chairman and vice president Venkaiah Naidu, the opposition staged a walkout. The opposition has been attacking the former CJI after the President on March 16 nominated him as the Rajya Sabha member.