Guwahati: Ranjan Gogoi’s recently released autobiography is a defensive anecdote of various landmarks in his eventful and illustrious career. Nevertheless, the conduct of a judge is restrictive during his tenure to remain uninfluenced both by plaintiffs and defendants. However, a superannuated judge also does not reveal much to uphold the sanctity of the institution and to avoid any post facto confrontation on his or her judicial deliverances. But former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has decided to tell his side of the story. And what can be the best way than to stich up various interesting pieces of anecdotes involving his life and work in a book to give anxious readers a free hand to swam into the opaque world high highnesses and lord ships?
“Justice for the Judge: An Autobiography” by Ranjan Gogoi now President nominated Rajya Sabha member had been released in New Delhi by his brother judge and another former chief justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde. The book release was attended by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and former Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad among others.
Gogoi’s pen now a pen of an MP and not of a judge has turned ruthless in many points.
He made some serious allegations of interference in judiciary by former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. Unfortunately, Tarun Gogoi is no more to rebut Ranjan Gogoi’s allegation. As Ranjan Gogoi narrates, during 2004-2005, he was heading a single judge bench in Gauhati High Court hearing a petition regarding appointment of constables in Assam Police. The then chief minister Tarun Gogoi urged his mother to press her son for a judgment favouring the government. As per Ranjan Gogoi, his mother was flown from Dibrugarh to Guwahati and to CM’s residence. CM expressed his intention only to embarrass judge’s mother. However, his mother revealed the entire story after judgement was delivered.
The former chief justice also narrated how he spent the evening after delivering the judgment on famous Ayodhya land dispute. Gogoi writes “… I took the judges for dinner to Taj Mansingh Hotel. We ate Chinese food and shared a bottle of wine, the best available there, I picked the tab being the eldest.” On November, 2019 a 5 judges’ constitutional bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi gave the final verdict of Ayodhya land dispute paving the way for construction of Ram Mandir.
On the other hand, Gogoi has devoted a separate chapter to share his side of the story on the sexually harassment allegation levelled upon him by a Supreme Court staffer. He has named the chapter as “Supreme Allegation And My Quest For The Truth.” When the allegation was made public CJI Ranjan Gogoi hurriedly convened a special sitting headed by him. He has elaborately spoken about it on the book. Meanwhile, launching the autobiography, he had admitted that it was his mistake to preside over a bench on a case of sexual allegation levelled on him.
During the book launch, he had also participated in an interaction where he delved into various issues including NRC. When asked about the sub-judice NRC case of which was sitting judge till superannuation, he said “nobody wanted NRC; but NRC is a constitutional obligation; So the Supreme Court did it.”
During the conversation, he had also praised Assam chief minister who was also present on the occasion. On a lighter note, he said Dr Sarma would have a better advocate.