Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury took aim at the Modi government over the nomination of ex-Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for a Rajya Sabha berth. Yechury quoted one of Gogoi's remarks where he said that appointments of retired judges in such political posts are "a scar on the independence of the judiciary". The communist leader also referred to the Modi government's appointment of another ex-CJI, P Sathasivam as Governor of Kerala in 2014.
Shri Ranjan Gogoi had himself said last year that "There’s a strong viewpoint that post-retirement appointments is a scar on independence of Judiciary". What must one make of a govt that does this, after appointing another ex-Chief Justice as the governor of a state? #Chronology— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) March 16, 2020
According to a notification issued by the Centre on Monday, 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 from the Supreme Court on November 17 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.
Ranjan Gogoi - the 46th Chief Justice of India is the son of former Assam chief minister Kesab Chandra Gogoi and completed his law degree from Delhi University. At first, he enrolled in Gauhati High Court in 1978 practising constitutional, taxation, and company matters. He was then transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court - where he rose to the post of Chief Justice. Later he was elevated as a judge in the Supreme Court on 23 April 2012 and subsequently succeeded then-CJI Dipak Misra on 3 October 2018.
Prior to his appointment to the top post in the apex court, Gogoi had gained the media spotlight when he participated in an unprecedented press conference of Supreme Court judges raising several problems in the judiciary - mainly the allocation of key cases by the CJI - who was the master of the roster. Gogoi along with three other dissenting judges - Justices Kurian Joseph, Madan B Lokur, Justice Chelameswar released a letter they wrote to Misra, conceding that he was the master of the roster but that was "not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues".