Former CJI’s Nomination & Story of Judiciary Crossing Over to Legislature
GUWAHATI: Is the distance between legislature and judiciary in India narrowing down. If the signals emanating from the political class are anything to go by it appears the line which was drawn by our constitution between four pillars of democracy are blurring down.
The move by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind to nominate former CJI Ranjan Gogoi has evoked a sharp response from the opposition leaders.
“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 said.
Is it quid pro quo?
How will people have faith in the Independence of Judges ? Many Questions, Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) tweeted.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also shared images of two news stories with a tagline "Picture says it all". The two headlines suggested that Gogoi's nomination to Rajya Sabha casts a doubt on judiciary's impartiality.
But if we go through the pages of modern history of Indian legislature there are numerous such instances. But for record no chief justice has been nominated to the Upper House of Parliament, the space which was till date was dominated by celebrities and artists.
Few court members crossed over to legislature. Former Chief Justice Ranganath Mishra had joined the Congress and became a Member of Parliament. Later, former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam became a Governor of Kerala appointed by the Narendra Modi government.
Justice Baharul Islam was earlier a Rajya Sabha MP before 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.
Justice Gogoi had retired in November last year after presiding over the Supreme Court for around 13 months.
He was among the four sitting top court judges who had held a first-of-its-kind press conference in January 2018 when Dipak Misra was the Chief Justice. They had alleged selective "assignment of cases to preferred judges" and "sensitive cases were being allotted to junior judges" by Justice Dipak Misra.
He was also part of the bench that gave a clean chit to the government in the case regarding the acquisition of the Rafale jets, saying there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 fighter jets.
There were also allegations of sexual harassment against him 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.
-With Inputs from agencies