Justice Ranjan Gogoi took oath as the Chief Justice of India on October 3. He is the first person from Northeast India to rise to the highest chair of the judiciary. Born in Dibrugarh district of Assam on November 18, 1954, Gogoi hail from an illustrious family. His elder brother is Air Marshal (Retired) Anjan Kumar Gogoi. His father Keshab Chandra Gogoi was an eminent lawyer and a politician who became the 9th Chief Minister of Assam for two months before imposition of President's rule in 1982.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi went to Don Bosco School, Dibrugarh before pursuing history at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Later, he followed his father's footsteps by studying law and joining the Bar in 1978. He was made a permanent Judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001. He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in September 2010 and became its Chief Justice on February 12, 2011. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on April 23, 2012.
Gogoi's former colleagues at Gauhati High Court remember him as a soft-spoken person. He is widely hailed across the Northeast and particularly in Assam for the updating of the National Register of Citizens. It was the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman who mandated the Union government to act seriously on the NRC issue and brought the matter under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
As we all are discussing Justice Ranjan Gogoi today, a statement made around three decades back by father turned out to be prophetic. Three decades back, in the Bar office of Gauhati High Court, two senior lawyers were having a discussion. All of a sudden, one of them asked his colleague as when is his son joining politics? Without giving a thought, the senior lawyer said, “My son will never join politics. But, one day he can be the Chief Justice of India.”
The father was Congress heavyweight Keshab Chandra Gogoi and the lawyer who posed the question was another Congress heavyweight Abdul Muhib Mazumdar, who was once the law minister of Assam and is known for drafting the Illegal Migrants (Determination of Tribunal) Act, 1983.
This conversation has been documented in Gauhati High Court: History and Heritage by Arup Kumar Dutta and have quoted Abdul Muhib Mazumdar. The book was released in August this year by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.