Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi nominated to Rajya Sabha
17 March 2020
The government on Monday nominated former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament. The ministry of home affairs issued a notification to this effect on Monday.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article, the President is pleased to nominate Shri Ranjan Gogoi to the Council of States to fill the vacancy caused due to the retirement of one of the nominated members,” the notification read.
The vacancy was created due to retirement of KTS Tulsi.
President Ram Nath Kovind’s move is unprecedented as no Chief Justice has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha, which is usually dominated by celebrities and artistes. And few members of the judiciary have, however, entered legislature post retirement.
Former Chief Justice Ranganath Mishra had, in the late 19990s, joined the Congress and became a member of Parliament. Justice Mishra, who retired in 1991, was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1998 and stayed there till 2004.
Later, former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam appointed governor of Kerala by the Narendra Modi government.
Former Justice Baharul Islam was earlier a Rajya Sabha MP before he was nominated as judge of the Gauhati High Court. He was appointed as judge of Supreme Court in 1980. He went on to absolve the then Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra in the urban cooperative bank scandal. He resigned as Judge and became Rajya Sabha member again.
Gogoi headed a five-judge bench that gave the verdict on the sensitive Ayodhya land dispute on 9 November last year. He also headed the benches that ruled on matters like entry of women in Sabarimala temple and Rafale fighter jet deal.
He was among the four sitting Supreme Court judges to hold a press conference in January 2018 alleging selective "assignment of cases to preferred judges" and "sensitive cases being allotted to junior judges" by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
He also faced allegations of sexual harassment against by an employee of the court, but he was cleared by the three-member Supreme Court panel that was looking into the matter.
In his farewell speech, Justice Gogoi had spoken of the lawlessness taking over in "some pockets" of the legal system.
"...The indifference of such stakeholders to the dignity of our institution has reached new lows in the recent past, as rank hooliganism and intimidatory behaviour has become the order of the day in some pockets of our court system," he had said in a video address.