On the last day of his tenure, CJI Ranjan Gogoi sat next to his successor SA Bobde in Court No. 1 for just 4 min and issued notices in 10 cases. He urged lawyers to maintain silence while exercising their independence. In the note he released today, 64-year-old CJI Gogoi said some bar members “push the boundaries of freedom”. He added that the bench required its judges to remain silent. ”This is not to say that judges do not speak, but do so only out of functional necessity, and no more.”
The outgoing CJI joined the bench for the last time in Room No. 1 of the Supreme Court on Friday. He had additional Justice SA Bobde in the bench, who is going to be the next Chief Justice of the country.
Chairman of Supreme Court Bar Association Rakesh Khanna expressed his gratitude to the CJI on behalf of the bar. Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s term as Chief Justice of India ends on Sunday but tomorrow and the day after are off days for the court.
CJI Gogoi then received a farewell at the Supreme Court premises. Justice Gogoi later spoke to 650 judges and 15,000 judicial officers of all high courts through video conferencing. He delivered his message to all judges and judicial officers.
Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde will take the oath as the next CJI on 18 November.
CJI Gogoi visited Rajghat after the farewell. He had visited Rajghat even after swearing-in as the Chief Justice of India last year.
CJI Gogoi: Career milestones
While Justice Gogoi will be remembered for a long time for heading the bench that delivered the Ram Janmabhoomi verdict, his journey in the profession of law has seen many other milestones. Some of them that grabbed front-page headlines of newspapers were as follows.
In May 2016, a bench comprising Gogoi and Prafulla C. Pant quashed a 2012 Bombay High Court order that dismissed CIT’s power to re-assess the income of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan that he allegedly had obtained from the popular TV show, Kaun Banega Crorepati.
On NRC, a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman observed on 5 December 2017, “The exercise of upgradation (sic) of NRC is not intended to be one of identification and determination of who are original inhabitants of the State of Assam… Citizens who are originally inhabitants/residents of the State of Assam and those who are not are at par for inclusion in the NRC.”
A bench of the Supreme Court led by CJI Gogoi on 24 January 2018 dismissed advocate Kamini Jaiswal’s petition seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigation into the attack on JNU activist Kanhaiya Kumar.
A not-so-bright spot of his career as a judge was 12 January 2018 when then-senior Supreme Court judge Gogoi and three of his colleagues Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph addressed a press conference to divulge the working of the highest court of the country, especially the style of functioning of the then CJI Dipak Misra.