BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF JUSTICE RANJAN GOGOI 

Justice Ranjan Gogoi is the first person from the Northeast to claim a top judicial position. President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as its 46th Chief Justice of India. Justice Gogoi is Born on November 18, 1954, Justice Gogoi completed his primary education at Don Bosco School Dibrugarh before pursuing history at Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College. 

Son of former Assam Chief Minister Keshab Chandra Gogoi, Justice Gogoi became an advocate in 1978. He served in the Guwahati High Court on constitutional, taxation and corporate matters before being appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Guwahati High Court on February 28, 2001. 

On September 9, 2010, he was transferred to the Punjab & Haryana High Court and was appointed as the Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court on February 12, 2011. A year later, he was appointed as a Supreme Court Judge of the Supreme Court of India on April 23, 2012. 

AS A SUPREME COURT JUDGE- 

Gogoi has handled a number of important cases, including the case regarding re-assessment of actor Amitabh Bachchan’s income for the year 2002-03, advocate Kamini Jaiswal’s petition for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) investing an attack on former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, and the Soumya case pertaining to the rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Kerala. 

In what is likely the first such instance in India’s history of justice, the top court issued a statement of contempt for former SC judge Markandey Katju in a blog criticizing judges. The bench was held over by Gogoi. However, the contempt case was dropped in 2017 after receiving an apology from Katju.

ABOUT HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY BOOK- 

Commenting on the title of the book, Mr Gogoi said he had considered naming the book, “Justice for Judges” as his whole idea of writing the book was to encourage the public to see judges outside their offices; to make a person sitting at a table. He says, “If anyone reads the book with a little patience and care, it really means trying and understanding your judges, try and understand the kind of judging they are in, try and understand their compulsion, their values, their ethics, their slightly different professional practices, and if you do not understand your judges in the same way that they do, they will probably become weak in their performance.”

REPUTATION OF RANJAN GOGOI- 

Justice Gogoi is famous for his thoughtful speech mind without giving messages beyond his judgements. Delivering a speech in July, he said “independent journalists and noisy judges sometimes” should be first line of defence in democracy. He also said the judiciary must be “more on the front foot” and “uncontaminated” to become effective in the interpretation of the law. At the Justice K.N. Saikia Memorial Lecture, organized by the North East Institute of Advanced Studies in Guwahati last year, he lamented the backlog of cases that violated the judicial system and created a “disrepute in the international community.” Referring to the vacancy of judges across the High Courts in India and a “staggering” 2.68 crore cases pending in district and subordinate courts, he said the “enormous challenges facing us today, combined with the pressing demands of the future, are compelling us to rethink and reassess our existing jurisprudence.” He is among 11 Supreme Court judges who unveiled his belongings and reviewed the list to prove he did not have a car, while his mother, Shanti Gogoi, moved him to an old house in Kamrup district.

CONTROVERSY RELATED TO RANJAN GOGOI- 

Supreme Court Judge and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi is surrounded by controversy many times during his career. Ranjan Gogoi first got involved in controversy when Ranjan Gogoi changed the High Court judgement in the case of the death of a woman who was raped by a train in Kerala in 2011. On which the High Court gave the verdict for sentenced to death. In Kerala, a man raped a woman and thrown her on the train. 

But Ranjan Gogoi’s bench changed the judgement to life imprisonment. As a Result, he was criticized by many social organizations. At the same time, former Judge Markandeyu Katju also criticized him for writing an article.  

Apart from this, you remembered that four judges press conference last year. Which shook the whole country. The Supreme Court held a press conference consisting of four judges and criticized the Chief Justice for the first time in history. The four judges included Ranjan Gogoi, who accused the Chief Justice of abusing his right to be the Master of the Roster of the Supreme Court in the distribution of cases.

CRITICISM- 

On March 16, Gogoi was appointed to the Rajya Sabha by the President using of the powers conferred on him under Article 80 of the Constitution. This award enables the President to nominate 12 members to the Rajya Sabha who are eminent personalities and have excelled in their respective fields. It is only after the process that Justice Gogoi was been appointed by President Kovind. 

This raises the question of whether a person like Justice Gogoi, who came in the bar in 1978, was appointed as a Judge of the Guwahati High Court in 2001 and then served the country as the Chief Justice, can be considered as prominent personality or not? After looking at Justice Gogoi’s credentials, this answer seems to be explained itself. 

However, the issue of bias has been raised by a certain part of society. One of the most controversial issues is that Chief Justice Gogoi presented decisions on issues of public importance such as the decision of Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi. However, in the same vein, one should consider that Chief Justice Gogoi was also a part of an unprecedented press conference addressed by four sitting judges of the Supreme Court in 2018. The same members of the judiciary who are now questioning his appointment had then observed that Justice Gogoi may have been superseded by another judge because he had questioned the Narendra Modi government and functioning of the judiciary system. In that sense, Justice Gogoi should not to have been appointed as the Chief Justice of India. Unfortunately, the section criticizing the appointment of Judge Gogoi has shown that they forget important details in order to further their arguments. In the midst of this political upheaval, it is unfortunate that a Supreme Court judge is being criticized for being politically objective. 

REFERENCE- 

Aishwarya Says:

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