The nomination of former India top judicial officer Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha was challenged by a petition before the Supreme Court. In March 2020, four months after he retired from the Supreme Court, Gogoi has been nominated by the government of Narendra Modi for Rajya Sabha. The current appeal, lodged by Satish S. Kambiye lawyer and social worker, questions the Gogoi appointment to the Upper House. Following an investigation, the petition states that Gogoi should be removed with or without retrospective effect from Parliament. Several constitutional experts, rights activists and other parties criticised the decision at the time of the nomination, stating that there was a confused constitutional division of authority between executives and the court. The petitioner has stated, according to the biodata on the Rajya Sabha website, that Gogoi has not received any books, publications, social, scientific, literary or artistic activities. Given this circumstance, the petition contends that, since the criteria for those provisions are not complied with, the Government notice designating Gogoi under Article 80(1)(a) reads with (3) of the Constitution does not apply.
CHIEF JUSTICE GOGOI’S TENURE
CJI Gogoi, who originally was born in November 1954, was appointed as Permanent Judge in February 2001 at the High Court of Gauhati and was moved in September 2010 to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. In April 2012, he was appointed justice of the Supreme Court. CJI Gogoi was perhaps faced with his worst problem in court six months after his appointment. Reports in the media said that CJI was accused of sexual harassment by the Supreme Court personnel in April 2019. After the lady wrote a letter and papers to all 22 (at the time) Apex judges, the accusation became apparent. The matter was submitted to the SC panel, which ruled the charge unfounded. But Congress tried to bring Gogoi to justice. In 2014, Gogoi’s time as an SC judge was highlighted when a court led by him launched the process of the NRC in Assam. During his time as CJI, the procedure ended in August 2019. On November 17, 2019, he retired.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
The first CJI to sit in Rajya Sabha would not be Justice Gogoi. From 1998 until 2004, the 21st CJI, Rangnath Mishra, was an MP of the Upper House. Judicial Mishra, however, was a Congress MP and no president-designate member of eminence. In 1983 the Supreme Court nominated Mishra, and in 1990 became CJI. After retiring in 1991, He entered Congress some seven years ago. There have been, however, one example of migration from the Rajya Sabha to the judiciary in the other direction as well. On the ticket to the Congress in 1962 and 1968, Baharul Islam was elected to the Rajya Sabha. However, he resigned as a judge of the Gauhati High Court from Parliament in 1972. In 1980 Islam retired, but once Indira Gandhi returned to the Power family, he was referred as a judge to the Supreme Tribunal. In the urban cooperative bank controversy, he abstained from the Chief Minister of Bihar, Mishra Jagannath. After that, he resigned just to become another Rajya Sabha MP.