With Ranjan Gogoi nominated to RS, is the unbiased judiciary in India becoming a myth?

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Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has been nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha.  “Sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of Article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article” has apparently been utilised to nominate Ranjan Gogoi to the Upper House of Parliament under powers of the President of India. He reportedly filled the vacancy created after the retirement of jurist KTS Tulsi.

During his time in the Supreme Court as CJI, the court delivered landmark judgements on the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the entry of women in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple and the Rafale jet deal along with Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Justice Ranjan Gogoi was also instrumental in passing the majoritarian judgment of Ayodhya where the decision was given in the favour of a temple being built at the place where the Babri Masjid was demolished by miscreants in 1992. Apart from Ayodhya Verdict, he also declined a plea to probe the Rafale fighter plane deal which was brought to public notice by none other than Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Justice Gogoi had also publicly defended the exercise for the National Register of Citizens in Assam which lead many people to end up in detention centres.

Never before in Indian history has a former CJI been nominated to the Upper House just months after retiring. This sets a very dangerous precedent in the country where the independent judiciary is being compromised and it raises a big question mark on the credibility of the judgments passed by the court during the tenure of Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.

Sanjay Hegde, senior Supreme Court advocate, said: “He has not been just to his own judicial record. Now he has also imperilled the independence and impartiality of fellow judges who sat with him.”

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