Justice Ranjan Gogoi appointed new Chief Justice of India

Justice Ranjan Gogoi appointed new Chief Justice of India

The President has appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the 46th Chief Justice of India.

Justice Gogoi will assume office from October 3. He is the first Chief Justice of India from Assam.

The warrant of appointment comes in less than 10 days after incumbent Chief Justice Dipak Misra recommended Justice Ranjan Gogoi his successor. The Press Information Bureau released a statement about the appointment.

Justice Gogoi would have a tenure as Chief Justice of India of about 13 months till his retirement on November 17, 2019.

Chief Justice Misra followed convention by recommending the next senior most Supreme Court judge, Justice Gogoi, as his successor in office.

Native of Assam

Justice Gogoi, born on November 18, 1954, is a native of Assam. He joined the Bar in 1978 and practised mainly in the Gauhati High Court. He was appointed as permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001. He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 9, 2010 and appointed its Chief Justice in February 2011. He was elevated to the Supreme Court on April 23, 2012.

Justice Gogoi is the son of Keshab Chandra Gogoi, a former Assam chief minister during the Indian National Congress regime 1982.

Justice Gogoi was one of the four senior most Supreme Court judges who held the January 12 press conference bringing up the issue of selective assignment of sensitive cases by recent CJIs to certain judges in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Misra subsequently published a subject-wise roster of cases assigned to judges in the Supreme Court. In various judgments, one of them by a Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Misra himself, the Supreme Court went on to declare the CJI as the ‘master of roster’.

In a recent lecture, Justice Gogoi said the country needs independent journalists and “noisy judges

Impactful career

The Benches led by Justice Gogoi has dealt largely with the issue of corruption in politics and public life. In fact, Justice Gogoi has led the Bench which ordered the Centre to set up special courts to “exclusively” try MPs and MLAs as a means to de-criminalise politics. Justice Gogoi’s Bench is also monitoring progress made by the government in the appointment of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal.

Justice Gogoi’s Bench had also pronounced the scathing judgment against a Uttar Pradesh State law, which had allowed former chief ministers to retain their bungalows, staff and other perks. The judgment had forced several UP political heavyweights and former chief ministers to vacate their official bungalows.

Justice Gogoi authored the judgment in the rape and murder case of 23-year-old Soumya in Kerala. The judgment commuted the death penalty of convict Govindaswamy to life imprisonment. The fall-out of the judgment saw unprecedented scenes when former Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju, who had criticised the verdict in his blog, was challenged by Justice Gogoi’s Bench to come to the Supreme Court and prove his criticism right. The stormy hearing ended up with Justice Katju being issued contempt of court notice.

Among the important cases heard by a Bench led by Justice Gogoi are the appeals filed by the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts for remission of their life sentences. Justice Gogoi has played a vital role in upgrading the Supreme Court creche within the court complex.

Justice Gogoi is currently heading the Bench monitoring the sensitive Assam NRC case.

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