- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
Former Supreme Court Judge, Justice (retd.) AK Patnaik has registered strong criticism to the former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi’s appointment as a Rajya Sabha member post his retirement from judicial service, commenting that “a judge should retire gracefully.”
Patnaik has been quoted by The National Herald as saying,
Justice (retd.) AK Patnaik
Adding to concerns raised that Gogoi’s recent appointment to Parliament has the effect of diluting the separation of state powers and the independence of the judicial, Patnaik further said,
“We have to maintain the independence and purity of institutions. One cannot mix these things. If the government wanted someone from the legal field, there are many others who could have contributed; there are several lawyers and legal academicians who should have been considered…"
Justice (retd.) Patnaik was earlier appointed to head a probe into whether there was a larger conspiracy to frame Gogoi while he was still the Chief Justice of India, after allegations arose that Gogoi had sexually harassed a junior Supreme Court employee in October 2018.
Gogoi was later cleared of the sexual harassment allegations by an in-house inquiry panel, shortly after the employee withdrew from the proceedings. The employee was reportedly later reinstated back to service, months after Gogoi retired from the office of Supreme Court Chief Justice.
His recent nomination to the Rajya Sabha has also drawn criticism from other judges as well, including former Supreme Court judges, Kurian Joseph, Madan Lokur and Markandey Katju and High Court Chief Justice, AP Shah. Speaking to Times Now in a recent interview, however, Gogoi hit back commenting,
Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi
“As far as ‘failed ambitions’ are concerned, that is a matter of perception - like the perception of Justice Kurian and Justice Lokur that my accepting the nomination is the downfall of the judiciary. These are perceptions. So far as AP Shah is concerned, it’s a matter of record.”
Further, he also justified his nomination, asserting that it should not be considered a “post-retirement package”, but rather that is was a matter of service. He said,
Addressing allegations that the nomination was a matter of quid pro quo, the judge also said,
“How (does) the judgments or the position that I have held until 18th of November have anything to do with the nomination to the Rajya Sabha.. what Is the connection between the two? I have completed the two, I have delivered my judgements, my judgments were unanimous - there were other 3-5 judges on the Bench - they agreed, it was a common order. I completed my tenure, went into retirement. The president recalled me from my retirement, required my services for 60 days in a year in the Rajya Sabha."
Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi
He went on to comment, inter alia,