oppn parties No Controversy: Justice Gogoi Is Next CJI

News Snippets

  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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No Controversy: Justice Gogoi Is Next CJI

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It is good that the government has respected the independence of the judiciary and accepted the recommendation of the outgoing CJI Justice Dipka Misra for elevating the senior-most judge, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, as the next CJI from October 3. It lays to rest a controversy that was building around this appointment. Detractors had questioned the motives of the government ever since it had stalled the elevation of Justice K M Joseph to the apex court. Some people had then commented that the government was interfering in the work of the judiciary and will do the same when it comes to the appointment of the next CJI. They were of the opinion that since Justice Gogoi was outspoken and had revolted against the present CJI, the government might supersede him to appoint a judge of its choice.

But with Justice Gogoi’s appointment, it is clear that the government is not trying to influence the judiciary per se. There might be issues which the government feels need reexamination. Justice Joseph’s elevation was one such issue. The government felt that there were other senior judges of competence and then there was the question of regional representation. The law allowed the government to send back the name once for reconsideration. Hence, it had done so in good faith. But people alluded to the fact that Justice Joseph’s appointment was stalled as he had delivered a judgment that went against the BJP government in Uttarakhand. Did not the government appoint him after his name was sent back by the collegium?

Even when there is no malafide intention, a section of the press, in collusion with the so-called liberals, is trying to whip up controversy. In doing so, they are trying to drive a wedge in the relations between the executive and the judiciary. This is not good for democracy. When a group of judges had questioned the CJI on distribution of cases, they had raised a point of law. The press tried to project it as a revolt. It was subsequently cleared that it is the prerogative of the CJI to allot cases as even though he cannot be termed superior to other judges, he is obviously ‘first among equals’. Otherwise, there is no point in having a chief justice. A section of the press had played a very questionable role during that controversy. If the executive and the judiciary are two important pillars of democracy, the media is one too. Hence, it should desist from creating controversies when none exist.