Video-conference, a short sitting mark last working day for Gogoi
Gogoi did not speak to the media or at the farewell organised by SC Bar association, becoming possibly the only chief justice not to have spoken at the farewell for a CJIUpdated: Nov 15, 2019 23:53 IST
For a judge who claimed to have “discharged his debt to the nation” by taking on then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, and becoming part of an unprecedented press conference by four senior judges who were critical of Misra’s functioning last year, Ranjan Gogoi’s last working day as the CJI was unusually muted.
Gogoi, 64, did not speak to the media or at the farewell function organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association on Friday.
He is the possibly the only chief justice not to have spoken at the farewell function organised by the bar association for a CJI.
Although justice Gogoi’s 13-month tenure as the CJI comes to an end when he demits his office on Sunday, he attended the Supreme Court for the last time on Friday.
Justice Gogoi presided over Court 1 with the CJI-designate S A Bobde. He dealt with 10 cases in a little less than five minutes and retired to his chambers.
Justice Gogoi signed off on the day by holding a video conference with 650 high court judges and 15,000 district and taluka judges across the country.
According to people aware of the content of the video conference, justice Gogoi thanked all judges for supporting him and for working towards reducing the backlog of cases in the courts.
“It was more like a pep talk to the judges. He said that the institution was facing problems but despite that judges have to keep working,” one judge of a high court said on condition of anonymity. “I think it was a good gesture on the part of justice Gogoi.”
Earlier in the day, Gogoi went to Rajghat, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, like he did on the day he took over as CJI.
Justice Gogoi will be remembered as one who was responsible for delivering and being part of some landmark verdicts in cases including the Ayodhya title dispute and the Rafale fighter jet deal. He was part of the benches that referred the Sabrimala case to a seven-judge bench and brought the office of the CJI under Right to Information Act.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi was also singly responsible for judicially pushing the National Register of Citizens for Assam.
His term was marred by allegations of sexual harassment against him by a staffer at his home office although he was eventually given a clean chit after an enquiry by three sitting judges of the Supreme Court.
Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta described Gogoi as a “no-nonsense kind of judge”. “Work was done, judgments delivered, no one complained.”