Ranjan Gogoi
Ranjan Gogoi

Justice Gogoi hails outgoing CJI's contribution to civil liberties cases

ANI | Updated: Oct 01, 2018 23:05 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 01 (ANI): Chief Justice-designate Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday hailed outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, highlighting his work in civil liberties cases as his greatest contribution to the Indian legal system.
Addressing a gathering at CJI Misra's farewell event, Gogoi said, "As a judge, his greatest contribution to the Indian jurisprudence has been on issues of constitutional significance, particularly with regard to civil liberties. I am sure that generations of academics, advocates and judges, will continue to engage with his scholarship long after he's gone. It is for this reason that I did not say farewell to Justice Misra today, but choose instead to celebrate the vision expressed in his judicial opinions."
Justice Gogoi stated that it is one thing to resolve legal disputes, where answers are dictated by the statutory text, and it is much more challenging to resolve cases where there are no given answers.
"In his years in the Supreme Court, Justice Misra has dealt with several cases that fall in the second category. In cases like Tehseen Poonawala and Shakti Vahini, Justice Misra has spoken against social evils like mob lynching and honour killings and denounced extra-legal attempts at dispensing justice," the Chief Justice-designate said.
Further praising CJI Misra, Justice Gogoi noted that "individual liberty was a recurring motive in his judicial opinions", as proved by the fact that the former was a part of the constitutional bench of nine judges that affirmed the Right to Privacy as inherent in the fundamental right to life and personal liberty.
"He has consistently upheld the freedom of the individual to choose and express this choice. Recent cases like Shakti Vahini, Shafin Jahan more recently Navtej Johar involved the individual's liberty to choose and to express this choice in the form of a partner, of whom society doesn't approve," Justice Gogoi said.
Justice Gogoi also highlighted the outgoing Chief Justice's support for women's right to equal citizenship, as evident in the Charu Khurana case - that outlawed gender-based criteria for membership in make-up associations, and his outrage in the Nirbhaya case.
CJI Misra is retiring on October 2, with Justice Gogoi slated to take over his responsibilities on Wednesday.
During his tenure, CJI Misra made a number of ground-breaking judgments, like the decriminalization of homosexuality, the validity of Aadhar, SC/ST reservation in job promotions, etc.
CJI Misra, who was the 45th CJI, has also faced severe criticism from his colleagues.
On January 12, four Supreme Court judges - Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurien Joseph - held a press conference where they had said that CJI Misra could not be persuaded to mend the ways of the court.
The now-retired Justice J. Chelameshwar, who spoke on behalf of four other judges, had said that the administration of the nation's top court was not in order. (ANI)