In Rajya Sabha, Ranjan Gogoi lends support to Delhi bill; women opposition MPs walk out
Gogoi also said that the Centre’s Ordinance as it stands today cannot be called an encroachment against the Supreme Court’s decision
Nominated Rajya Sabha member and former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in his maiden speech in the Upper House on Monday supported the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 even as several women leaders from opposition parties walked out of Parliament over alleged sexual harassment charges against him. He was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Supreme Court in 2019.
“In my respectful submission, the bill is perfectly valid. The position in my perception is this – the state legislature makes laws for the states, Parliament makes laws for the Union territories. For NCT of Delhi, the legislature makes laws on state subjects except three. By virtue of 239AA(3)(b), Parliament has the power to frame laws beyond these three. That is exactly what the bill is seeking to do. Therefore, there is no question of overreaching (SC order). As a layman, it is not subjudice, what is pending before the SC is the validity of the Ordinance and specifically two questions referred to the Constitution Bench, and has nothing to do with what is being discussed in the House,” Gogoi said, explaining why the bill should be passed.
Gogoi also said that the Centre’s Ordinance as it stands today cannot be called an encroachment against the Supreme Court’s decision. Gogoi spoke for the first time in the Rajya Sabha since he became a member in 2020. Four MPs, Samajwadi Party leader Jaya Bachchan, Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray faction’s Priyanka Chaturvedi, Nationalist Congress Party’s Vandana Chavan and TMC’s Sushmita Dev walked out of the Rajya Sabha in protest when Gogoi got up to speak.
Back in April 2019, a former junior court officer alleged she was sexually harassed by Gogoi; a month later, a three-member in-house committee of Supreme Court judges, led by justice SA Bobde, unanimously cleared him of the sexual harassment charges.