‘They will welcome me very soon’: Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Opposition protest over his Rajya Sabha oath
Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi took oath as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha on Thursday amid walkout from the Opposition parties who were opposed to his nomination.
“They will welcome me very soon. There are no critics,” Gogoi told reporters as he left Parliament premises after taking oath as an MP of the Upper House.
Members of Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) opposed Gogoi’s appointment and walked out of the Rajya Sabha. The Communist Party of India, DMK and MDMK also joined the protest.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad had welcomed Gogoi in the Rajya Sabha.
Justice Gogoi was nominated by President Ram Nath Kovind on March 16, four months after his retirement in November 2019. He had served as the 46th Chief Justice of India from October 3, 2018, to November 17, 2019.
Watch | Amid uproar, former CJI Ranjan Gogoi takes oath as Rajya Sabha MP; opposition walks out
Justice Gogoi’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha has not found favour with retired Supreme Court judges like justices Madan Lokur, AK Patnaik and Kurian Joseph who have spoken out against it. But Gogoi has defended his nomination, saying that he accepted the offer because of his conviction that the legislature and judiciary must work together for nation-building.
“My presence in Parliament will be an opportunity to project the views of the judiciary before the legislature and vice versa”, he said. He added he had given the nomination a considerable thought before agreeing to take accept it.
Gogoi is the first former CJI to become a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha. He is also the second CJI to become a Rajya Sabha MP after justice Ranganath Misra, who was elected as a Congress lawmaker from Odisha. Justice Misra, however, became a Rajya Sabha member in 1998, nearly seven years after his retirement from the Supreme Court.