Assam: Defamation case filed against former CJI Ranjan Gogoi in local court
The petitioner, Aabhijeet Sharma in his defamation suit claimed that Gogoi’s autobiography, ‘Justice for the Judge’ has offensive content in context of National Register of Citizens updating exercise
A Guwahati-based social worker has filed a ₹1 crore defamation suit against former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi at the Kamrup (Metro) district and civil judge court in Guwahati.
The petitioner, Aabhijeet Sharma in his defamation suit claimed that Gogoi’s autobiography, ‘Justice for the Judge’ has offensive content in the context of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating exercise. Sharma has also demanded a ban on the former CJI’s autobiography.
Gogoi after retiring from Supreme Court became a member of Rajya Sabha and also published his autobiography.
According to Sharma, Gogoi in his biography wrote NRC officials were attacked by locals where his name was mentioned.
He wrote, “At the local level, personal attacks on the SCNR (Hajela) and veiled attacks on the judges, particularly me, by local politicians and specifically by Aabhijeet Sharma, the president of Assam Public Works, left us (the Bench) convinced that orders should be passed to protect former state NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela from undue harassment and calculated harm. The Bench passed the order dated 18 October 2019 for his deputation on inter-cadre transfer to Madhya Pradesh, his home state.”
“This is a baseless interpretation and I have appealed to the court to ban this book which is presenting lies about such an important issue like the NRC,” Sharma said.
In 2017, Sharma alleged that Hajela was involved in a scam related to the NRC updating exercise.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Gogoi passed a suo moto contempt case against Sharma and asked him to tender an unconditional apology before the court.
“With adequate proof, I raised the concern over misappropriation of funds in the NRC exercise and the Auditor General of India found it correct. As a result, Hajela was removed from his post and transferred from Assam,” Sarma said.
Sharma mentioned that the former CJI in his book wrote, “Subsequent events like filing of FIRs against Hajela and other NRC officials; allegations of corruption and threats to order CBI probes besides enormous misinformation to the media and wide publicity thereof leave me convinced that the Bench was thoroughly justified in passing the rather unusual order for the inter-cadre transfer of Hajela by invoking Article 142 of the Constitution.”
The Kamrup (Metro) district court heard the matter on May 9 and issued a notice to Gogoi for a response.
The case is listed for the next hearing on June 3.
Gogoi had served as the 46th chief justice of India from 2018 to 19.