Justice Ranjan Gogoi: First CJI from Northeast who questioned Supreme Court’s integrity

New Delhi: Justice Ranjan Gogoi was appointed as the 46th Chief Justice of India on Wednesday in a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan – where he was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind.

After taking oath, CJI Gogoi issued a new roster – wherein he kept most of the Public Interest litigations to himself while assigning a few to Justice Madan B Lokur.

“No urgent mentioning of cases will be allowed” till certain “parameters” are fixed for it, he said.

“We will work out the parameters then we will see as to how mentioning will be done… If somebody is going to be hanged tomorrow, then we can understand (urgency),” CJI Gogoi added.

Gogoi, 63, is the first person from the northeast to become the Chief Justice of India. He will have a tenure of a little over 13 months and would retire on November 17, 2019.

Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other dignitaries present at Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Darbar Hall included Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda.

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandhpadhyay and Derek O’Brien were among the opposition leaders present at the event.

Unprecedented press conference

  • By naming Justice Ranjan Gogoi as his successor outgoing CJI (Chief Justice of India) Dipak Misra on September 4 followed tradition and procedure and laid to rest any speculation on that count.
  • Justice Gogoi, who assumed charge as the 46th CJI on October 3, had drawn attention and scrutiny in January this year for holding an unprecedented press conference along with three other SC judges to express unease at the functioning of the highest court of the land.

Important cases as SC judge

  • CJI Gogoi’s tenure as an SC judge has seen him be part of benches in a number of important cases.
  • He was a member of the SC bench in the May 2018 ruling regarding revoking a proposal from the Uttar Pradesh government that allowed all former chief ministers to retain their official residences.
  • Gogoi was also a part of the judgment prohibiting the government from using photographs of anyone else except the PM, President and the CJI for advertising purposes.
  • He also headed the special SC bench that is monitoring the revision of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) meant for identifying genuine residents of Assam.

Justice Gogi’s career

  • CJI Gogoi was born on November 18, 1954, in Guwahati in a politically influential family. His father, Keshab Chandra Gogoi, was a lawyer-turned-politician and served as chief minister of Assam for two months during the 1980s.
  • Known for speaking his mind, CJI Gogoi has had a long and dynamic career since the time he was enrolled as a lawyer in the bar council in 1978.
  • He was made the permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001. He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 9, 2010, and became its Chief Justice on February 12, 2011.
  • He was elevated as the judge of the SC on 23 April 2012 and will have a tenure of over seven years at the apex court till his retirement.