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RS: Opposition boycotts ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s swearing-in, Naidu terms it unfair

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 19, 2020 Published on March 19, 2020

Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi   -  THE HINDU

“It has lowered the very dignity of the office, that he had or rather disgraced, judiciary”

In an unprecedented development, the Opposition boycotted the swearing-in of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi as a member of Rajya Sabha. Opposition MPs raised slogans while Gogoi was taking oath.

The Opposition’s plan is to continue to raise such slogans whenever Gogoi speaks in the House.

The Congress said it has strong reservations on the nomination of Gogoi as the retired Chief Justice has delivered many ‘controversial judgements’. “He himself, I have no hesitation to say, was a controversial Chief Justice and his acceptance and the Government’s appointment has raised bonafide questions about quid pro quo. It has lowered the very dignity of the office, that he had or rather disgraced, judiciary. The constitutional scheme of things is very clear that the distancing between the Executive, the Parliament and the Judiciary,” said Congress’s deputy leader in the Upper House Anand Sharma.

 

He said the earlier examples do not hold water as they were brought to the House after nine years or seven years of relinquishing the post of Chief Justice. “He himself has become an active party to that along with the Government and that’s why we protested. We feel what has happened is wrong; it severely undermines the independence of the judiciary. It sends a wrong message to all the present and future judges and therefore we, Congress and the other opposition, walked out,” Sharma said.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the slogan shouting will not go on record. “It is very unbecoming of members of Parliament. No, this is not the way. Nothing will go on record. Very unfair, very unfair,” Naidu said. “You know the Constitutional provision, you know the precedent, you know the power of the President. You should not do anything in the House. Whatever views you have, you are at liberty to express outside,” Naidu added.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Opposition’s conduct was “grossly unfair”. “This House has a great tradition of having many eminent persons coming from diverse fields including former justices nominated by those who have shouted today,” Prasad said. “Hon’ble member Gogoi, who has taken oath today, will surely contribute his best as a nominated member. And it was grossly unfair to do like this,” he added.

Published on March 19, 2020

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