Justice Ranjan Gogoi to take oath as CJI; can he further strengthen the judiciary?

Justice Gogoi will be the 46th CJI and have a term of 13 months 15 days.

Justice Ranjan Gogoi to take oath as CJI; can he further strengthen the judiciary?

NEW DELHI: Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was one of the four top court judges who held an unprecedented press conference earlier this year over what ails the highest court of the country, is set to take oath as next Chief Justice of India (CJI) on Wednesday.

Justice Gogoi succeeds Chief Justice Dipak Misra who retired on October 2.

Justice Gogoi will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by the President and would preside over Court Number One - the court designated for the Chief Justice.

Justice Gogoi, who is known for his ''no-nonsense'' approach, will be the 46th CJI and have a term of 13 months 15 days.

He was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court on April 23, 2012.

He was one of the four top court judges who revolted against Chief Justice Dipak Misra earlier this year. 

Along with three senior-most Judges of the apex court - Justices J Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - Justice Gogoi held an unprecedented press conference in January this year, accusing Chief Justice Misra of running the top court's administration in an arbitrary manner. Justice Gogoi and his colleagues also raised questions over the allotment of cases by CJI Misra to different judges.

Born on November 18, 1954, Justice Gogoi was enrolled as an advocate in 1978. He initially practised in the Gauhati High Court on constitutional, taxation and company matters. 

He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001. On September 9, 2010, he was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

He was appointed as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 12, 2011. 

Justice Gogoi has been part of top court bench dealing with several important cases including the controversial Assam NRC and setting up of fast-track courts for hearing criminal cases involving the lawmakers. Justice Gogoi is part of a bench, which also includes Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, which is monitoring the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

He also heads the bench that is hearing a plea for setting up special courts to exclusively try criminal cases against the sitting and former lawmakers across the country.

In pursuance to his December 2017 order, 12 special courts were set up across the country to try criminal cases against the politicians.

The emphasis is that in pursuance to 2014 direction of the top court, the trial in criminal cases against the lawmakers should conclude in one year.

Justice Gogoi had on Wednesday said that if required the bench would monitor the compliance of its order as it asked 19 States and six Union territories to give the details of the number of cases pending against the lawmakers in these states.

He is also on the bench along with Chief Justice Misra hearing the Sahara matter.

Justice Gogoi had once pulled up Justice Markandey Katju for making adverse comments on a top court judgement in which it had set aside the death sentence of a Kerala man accused of raping and murdering a young woman in 2011. Justice Katju, who retired as judge of the Supreme Court on September 19, 2011, had to tender an unconditional apology in connection with his remarks.

A bench headed by Justice Gogoi had issued a notice to Justice Katju on November 11, 2016, asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for casting aspersion against the judges in one of his blogs relating to a case.

However, contempt proceedings were later dropped after Katju tendered an unconditional apology to the top court.

(With Agency inputs)

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