An ex-Chief Justice of India gets a government nomination to the Rajya Sabha within four months of retiring from office. This is perhaps the most brazen mauling of every known principle of judicial propriety that Indians have seen in recent times. But then again, the ex-CJI has always been one to blaze the trail, set precedents as it were.
A protocol committee meeting of the Gauhati high court was held on October 30, 2019 (two weeks before he retired), followed by a full court meeting of 18 judges. This committee adopted a resolution, subsequently approved by the high court, granting Gogoi and his wife hitherto unheard of benefits: I ask the obvious: Will the honourable gentleman still continue to enjoy this largesse at tax-payer’s expense.
The most dangerous thing about Gogoi going to the Rajya Sabha is that he is a man who has no regard for the most sacred of all constitutional principles – the separation of power between the organs of government. Here was a man masquerading as an impartial arbiter of justice, who was a venal power-hungry politician all along. Gogoi reduced the Supreme Court – that hallowed institution which even the most cynical of all Indians have vestigial faith in – to a sorry coffin of opacity where justice was not only denied but seen to be denied – in sealed covers. The NRC, Rafale, the CBI director’s removal – each of these landmark cases will always be remembered not for what they laid down, but rather for what they concealed.
In Upper House nomination, a fall for ‘aloofness’ – By Prashant Bhushan (Mar 19, 2020, The Hindu)
Et tu, Gogoi? Ex-CJI’s Rajya Sabha Seat Weakens Independence of SC – By Vakasha Sachdev (Mar 18, 2020, The Quint)
‘A Matter of Great Public Importance Touching Upon the Independence of the Judiciary’ – By Siddharth Varadarajan (Mar 18, 2020, The Wire)
The Hidayatullah example – By Abhinav Chandrachud (Mar 18, 2020, Indian Express)