“I would not be able to meet your request for a one-to-one meet,” the outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, said in a three-page letter addressed to journalists.
“I am keen that you would appreciate that the ordinary freedoms are finely balanced in our institutional functioning,” the letter further said.
“While you have the Bar whose members can exercise their freedom of speech to the extent of even pushing the boundaries of such freedom, the bench requires its judges to maintain silence, while exercising their freedoms,” it added.
“This is not to say that Judges do not speak. They do speak, but only out of functional necessity, and no more. Bitter truth must remain in memory,” the CJI said.
He also appreciated the media for its matured reporting the trying times of the judiciary.
“Good press is also a parameter amongst others that are known to be indicative of our institutional health,” the CJI said.
“In such view, I do wish to put on record that by and large, the press corps has been kind to my office as well as to our institution during my tenure at the helm of the institution,” he added.
“Even during trying times. When our institution was keeping an ambush or two at bay, most members of the press displayed maturity and character ad exercised exceptional discretion to prevent canards and falsehood from clogging the news space,” the letter said.
On the last day of his office on Friday, the CJI issued notices in all the ten cases listed before him.
“The Bench requires its judges to maintain silence,” Gogoi said while talking about judges’ need to “exercise restraint in exercising their freedoms”.
He is formally retiring on Sunday.