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Ranjan Gogoi to take oath as CJI on Oct 3 as President clears appointment

Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the most senior Supreme Court judge, is set to be the country’s next chief justice. He will be the first from the north-east where he had started legal practice as a lawyer 40 years ago.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2018 23:47 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ranjan Gogoi,CJI,Chief Justice of India
Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who created a stir as a Supreme Court judge in 2016 when he issued a contempt notice against retired judge Justice Markandeya Katju.(PTI File Photo)

President Ram Nath Kovind has cleared the appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India. He will take over from CJI Dipak Misra on October 3 and continue in office till November 17, 2019.

Justice Gogoi, who will take over as the 46th CJI, will be the first in the post from the Northeast. He is from Assam.

He began his legal career in 1978 as an advocate in the Gauhati high court. In 2001, he was appointed as a judge in Gauhati high court. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2012 from the Punjab and Haryana high court, where he was chief justice for almost a year.

In 2016, he created a stir as a Supreme Court judge when he issued a contempt notice against a retired judge of the court, Justice Markandeya Katju.

In a Facebook post, Katju had criticised the top court’s verdict in the 2011 Soumya rape-and-murder case. The court had held the accused guilty of the rape but not the murder of the 23-year-old woman who was travelling in a passenger train from Ernakulam to Shornur.

That judgment was authored by a bench headed by Gogoi. Justice Katju appeared in the court of Gogoi and apologised for the Facebook post, thereby ending the matter.

Justice Gogoi has also been hearing the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) case in Assam. It is on the orders of Justice Gogoi that the NRC for Assam has been prepared.

The first draft of the NRC has been published and over four million people have been left out. The case is still pending. Recently, the court directed the Centre to draw up a standard operating procedure to deal with the claims of the four million people excluded from the NRC, which has been prepared to identify and deport illegal residents of Assam.

Justice Gogoi was also a part of the extraordinary January 11 press conference called by the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. Issues pertaining to the administration of the top court and allocation of cases to junior judges by the CJI were raised at the press conference.

Justice Gogoi’s taking part in the press conference was seen as a bold move in legal circles, as he was in line to be the next CJI and his chances for appointment could have been jeopardised.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 19:31 IST