Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi took oath as a member of Rajya Sabha today, while facing protests from oppostion parties. He was nominated by President Ram Nath Kovind to the Upper House on March 16. Ranjan Gogoi is allotted seat number 131.
The opposition including members of Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and others opposed the appointment of former CJI. The opposition created a severe pandemonium while shouting ‘shame’ in the hall and later walked out in protest while CJI was reading the oath. The Communist Party of India, DMK, and MDMK also joined the protest.
Reacting to the sloganeering by the opposition members, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said, ‘We know the constitutional position, we know the precedences, we know the powers of the President of India, and we should not do anything in the house. We can say whatever you want to say outside the house’.
Law minister Ravi Sankar Prasad said that the house has a great tradition of many eminent persons coming from diverse fields, including former chief justices being nominated by those who have shouted today. Gogoi who has taken oath today will surely contribute his best as a nominated member, and it was grossly unfair to do like that.
While exiting the Parliament after taking the oath, Ranjan Gogoi told reporters, “they will welcome me very soon. There are no critics”.
Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi had retired as Chief Justice of India on November 17 last year. He has delivered many landmark verdicts on diverse topics like the decades-old politically and religiously sensitive Ayodhya land dispute, he also headed the bench of judges which gave a clean chit to Modi government on the pleas seeking review of the Rafale deal.
The former CJI’s nomination to Rajya Sabha has given heartburn to Supreme court Judges like Justice Madan Lokur, Kurien Joseph, AK Patnaik and Markandey Katju who fiercely ranted against CJI through his twitter handle.
However, CJI Ranjan Gogoi defended his nomination to Rajya Sabha saying, “I have accepted the offer of the nomination to the Rajya Sabha because of strong conviction, that the legislature and the Judiciary must at some point of time worked together for Nation-building.”
He said that his presence in Parliament will be an opportunity to project the views of the Judiciary before the legislature and vice versa.