A report published on Wednesday by The Economic Timesquoted the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud as saying: “We are of the view that it is not the stage to interfere (with the appointment).”
The petition, challenging the appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who hails from Assam, as the next Chief Justice of India CJI, was lodged by two advocates – R P Luthra and Satyaveer Sharma.
The advocates in their plea had said they were seeking adjudication of the question of law relying on the contents of the press conference of January 12, called by four senior judges (Justices Chelameswar (since retired), Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph) of the apex court.
As per report, the lawyers in their petition, while referring to an undated letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India and circulated by the four apex court judges, including Justice Ranjan Gogoi, stated: “This act of the four senior-most judges of the court was not less than a sabotage to the judicial system of the country. They tried to arouse public furore in the country in the names of certain internal differences in this court.”
It may be mentioned that President Ram Nath Kovind has recently appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India, law ministry confirmed on September 13, 2018.
Taking the baton from CJI Dipak Misra, Justice Gogoi will assume office on October 3, 2018, as the 46th CJI, tenure ending in November 2019.
CJI Misra on September 4 had recommended Justice Gogoi, the senior most judge present in the Supreme Court, as his successor. The recommendation was processed to President Kovind to issue the warrant of appointment, which was confirmed on September 13, 2018.
Earlier, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar said that government’s intention on the appointment of the next CJI should not be questioned and that the executive would take a call.
The plea had said that “the petitioners are aggrieved of the actions and omissions on the part of respondent 1
(Union of India) and respondent 2 (Chief Justice of India), which has resulted into appointment of
respondent 3 (Justice Ranjan Gogoi) as the Chief Justice of India instead of reprimanding him for his
illegal and anti-institutional act”.
The petition had claimed that the act of Respondent 1 and Respondent 2 “is illegal and unconstitutional and also against the canons of law because the appointment on highest post of judiciary has been awarded to a person who is guilty of committing judicial impropriety and judicial misconduct”.
The plea of the two lawyers had sought quashing of the order of appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the Chief Justice of India.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was born in Assam’s Dibrugarh, will have a tenure as Chief Justice of India of about 13 months till his retirement on November 17, 2019. He is the son of former Assam Chief Minister Keshab Chandra Gogoi.