Nothing better than having Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the fearless former Chief Justice, as member of Rajya Sabha…!
Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, whose nomination to Rajya Sabha has been questioned by many parties, was nominated by President Ram Nath Kovind to fill the vacancy caused due to retirement of one of the nominated members.
From criticizing the centre of having no intention to appoint a Lokpal to delivering the Landmark Ayodhya land dispute verdict, the defiant Ranjan Gogoi is known to have passed fearless judements which has often brought rifts with the centre.
The man himself passed a judgment re-emphasizing that nobody was above law and while expanding the ambit of Right to Information, he declared that citizens have the right to question government institutions and offices.
Gogoi’s legacy is not restricted to just judicial matters. He also passed orders on making available the top court’s judgments in seven languages.
The man stood for what he believed to be right and till the end ensured that justice is served.
What could have been a better choice to be a part of Rajya Sabha, than the man who has delivered several landmark judgements.
If we look into our history, it is not uncommon to see, such judicial legends taking active part in legislature…
-Respected Mohammadali Carim Chagla, was an Indian jurist, diplomat, and Cabinet Minister who served as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court from 1947 to 1958. Initially, like many nationalists, Chagla idolized Jinnah due to his then nationalistic views and held membership in the Muslim League. He was appointed as a judge to Bombay High Court in 1941, becoming Chief Justice in 1948 and serving in that capacity to 1958. Following his tenure as Chief Justice, he served as the one-man commission that examined the Finance Minister of India, T. T. Krishnamachari. After retirement he served as Indian ambassador to the US from 1958 to 1961. Immediately on his return, he was asked to be a Cabinet Minister, which he accepted, and he served as Education Minister from 1963 to 1966, then served as the Minister for External Affairs of India from November 1966 to September 1967, after which he left government service.
-Respected Mohammad Hidayatullah, was the 11th Chief Justice of India serving from 25 February 1968 to 16 December 1970, and the sixth Vice President of India, serving from 31 August 1979 to 30 August 1984. He had also served as the Acting President of India from 20 July 1969 to 24 August 1969 and from 6 October 1982 to 31 October 1982. He is regarded as an eminent jurist, scholar, educationist, author and linguist. He became the only person to have served in all three offices of Chief Justice of India, President of India, and the Vice President of India.
-Justice Sri Ranganath Mishra son of Godavaris a minister from Odisha.
Sri Ranganath Mishra’s elder brother Raghunath Mishra was congress MLA and Minister and Raghunath’s son Dipak Mishra was 45th CJI of India in 2017-19
Justice Ranganath Mishra was the sole member of the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission of Inquiry, a commission that headed the investigation of 1984 anti-Sikh riots and produced a report. Rajiv Gandhi set it up in 1985 and report was submitted in 1987.
This one man commission gave a clean chit to congress in 1984 Anti Sikh Pogram after the death of Indira Gandhi where 5000 sikhs were killed as per official numbers. The victims were forced to come to the investigation with the burden of proof on them.
He was made Chief Justice of India (1990-91) and then after retirement he was made National human rights commision chief (1993-98). After that he was nominated to Rajyasabha from 1998-2004.
-Justice Abhay Mahadeo Thipsay was a Judge at the Hon’ble Bombay High Court and at Hon’ble Allahabad High Court. In 2018, Justice Abhay Thipsay, after his retirement, joined the Congress party…!!
-Justice Baharul Islam was a Indian politican and Judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha, upper house of the Parliament of India as a member of the Indian National Congress and in 1972 he resigned from the Rajya Sabha to became a judge in the Gauhati High Court after he retired as chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court he was recalled and made a Judge of the Supreme court.
Now, if we talk about Ranjan Gogoi’s appointment as being unconsitutional ( as claimed by several politicians), his appointment to the Rajya Sabha is not “unprecedented” for two primary reasons….
First, while the Indian Constitution (Article 220) restricts a retired Judge from practising law in the same Court in which he was a judge, there are no restrictions that bar him from seeking employment, joining a political party or getting elected/nominated to the Indian Parliament….
Also, The “cooling period” applies to Group “A” Government officers who cannot seek commercial employment within 2 years, post their retirement, without the permission of the government. It must be clear by now that there are no legal hurdles that can prevent the nomination of Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha….!!