Legislation and judiciary clashes have escalated over the past few years in the country, and a large number of defects and weaknesses have arisen in the system of delivery of justice and access to justice. The practice of making decisions In the interest of the ruling political party, is being formalized. Weaker sections, constitutional rights of minority and civil society, opposition parties, social activists, Legal experts, public interest litigation’s are facing serious problems in access to justice and protecting the legitimate rights of the public’s that is getting difficult day by day.
The chief reason for this is the irrelevant grip of the government on judiciary and the judges, who are being forced to make judicial decisions even in the most sensitive cases filed in the country, amid greed, fear and internal silent threats from the administration. The judges are being forced to issue the verdicts against the spirit of judiciary & justice. In the past, such appointments were done even in the Congress era, which provided relief to the government in public affairs related cases. As Justice Islam had provided relief to the Chief Minister of Biharin afinancial embezzlement case, or the Justice Mishra Commission, in 1984, had exonerated the Congress from the involvement in the Anti- Sikh riots. He was later rewarded with a political position, on which many objections were raised.
President of the Republic of India nominated to Rajya Sabha as a special reward just four months after Ranjan Gogoi retired as the Chief Justice of India. And on March 19, he took an oath amidst the slogans of ‘shame’ in the parliament.
The President of the Republic of India may nominate 12 such members as Parliamentarians, who have done outstanding work in the field of arts, science, literature and social services. WithGogoi’s nomination, protests from legal experts, intellectuals, politicians and civil societies were raised in the form of public approbation.
The decisions that Ranjan Gogoi has issued in the country’s most sensitive and fundamental constitutional rights cases can be termed as of being terribly sad and dark. Although he remained in office as CJI only for a period of 13 months Oct2018- Nov2019, & occupied the august office of Chief Justice of India, but in the meantime he issued disappointing decisions in violation of the moral values of the Supreme Court of India. In 200 cases which were pending hearing in Assam NRC. His prejudiced mentality resulted in the loss of citizenship for more than 19 lakh people in Assam.During his tenure legal and social activists were mistreated in the court & badly humiliated. Whoever used to file a case in any kind of PIL used to face humiliation? Anyone against the government was not welcome by him. he adopted a strict antagonistic stand against Indira Jay Singh, senior advocate of the Supreme Court, Prashant Bhushan, social activist Harsh Mandar along with many such lawyers are among those who faced his contemptuous attitude.
Introduction ofClosed envelope culture:
The closed envelope culture began in the reign of Ranjan Gogoi; the government began to submit a closed envelope with its own affidavit to hide its weaknesses and wrongdoings and to enforce certain policies. Such an act is strictly a violation of the principles of the court and the spirit of justice. In his own sensitive case, neither debate nor interrogation, neither warning nor a show cause notice, is it possible that the closed envelops used to carry the instructions to implement justice except this that the judgment is supposed to be in favor of the policy of the government. Public right were so badly ignored & trampled under the reign of Ranjan Gogoi and PIL suits used to be dumped in the waste basket in tenure of Gogoi.
All cases filed against the dismissal of 370 in Kashmir and the reckless arrest of political activists and social workers were kept pending by him and Locked down in Kashmir was allowed to continue. In addition, Ranjan Gogoi ruled in favor of the Ram Temple by abolishing the controversial land ownership of the Babri Masjid. For the last 50 years, RSS has been carrying out the movement against the Muslims in connection with the Ram temple. He made the movement of RSS claim despite being illegal a reality through his ruling. In addition to that Ranjan Gogoi gave a clean chit to the criminals in the Ihsan Jafri case in the Gulberg Society Ahmedabad case. In the Dassault Rafale case he did not let investigation take place, and people are wondering why did he attend the press conference in January 2018 which was organized by the judges against the then Chief Justice Deepak Mishra& his style of administration and said that as a Master of Roaster he is Miss-Using his powers, and transferring the political cases to the bench of his choice. But he himself occupied the CJI office himself became so corrupt that he sought to appease his legislative and political masters, & in the process he issued regrettable decision in the history of judiciary.
Ranjan Gogoi was also caught up in a sex scandal, after a woman working in his office filed a written complaint against sexual abuse. Since then the woman has had to suffer severe hardships. Gogoi moved the trial to a judge, where the complainant and his lawyer were not allowed to come, nor was the judge ready to hear any real account from the woman.
Justice Sahib unilaterally gave a clean chit to Ranjan Gogoi and the excesses followed the woman was dismissed from the Supreme Court job. Her husband was suspended, Her brother-in-law and other family members, faced false police cases that were filed against the family.The lady was eventually forced to withdraw her complaint. He engaged the complete machinery of the Supreme Court in trying to control and silence the woman. Police were widely used to keep her silent.
To save himself from the infamy he carried out all kinds of persecution on the woman which is highly unlikely of a person of his stature. When he retired, and as soon as Justice Bobde took over, the office the woman was given back her job and reappointed her husband and issued orders for her to receive all the pending salaries with all arrears during the suspension. Gogoi is no longer known as a good justice in history, his services have been rewarded by the BJP by giving him membership of Rajya Sabha, but all that remains of the credibility of this former Chief Justice of India ishe will now serve as a minor political face as a former RSS judge.
The Supreme Court’s Code of Ethics was forgotten in the 16-point “Retirementof values of judiciallife. Had Ranjan Gogoi been appointed to the commission or the tribunal or the International Court of Justice that would have not sparked a row of opposition? But his accepting the membership of Parliament in just four months was not acceptable for the masses. As, any political position is very light and cheap against the position Chief Justice of India. The post of Chief Justice of India CJI requires that the social and public meeting be avoided and demands caution in the culture of the Supreme Court, reconciliation and openness in the Civil Circles are considered against the Code of Conduct. The participation ofRajanGogoi in the legislature can have an impact on the judiciary’s independent performance. Unless the judiciary of the country operates independently with full sovereignty, the protection of constitutional laws is not possible.
Many senior and junior executives serve under the CJI; the retired CJI may be able to influencethe former’s strong relationship with its subordinates, and it may be possible to make decisions in cases where political interests are acquired. BJP leaders have been more inclined to include retired or resigned individuals from the country’s highest positions in their political leadership ranks. When Bipin Rawat, the country’s chief of army staff, retired, he was made chief of defense staff. When Foreign Secretary – Subra Maniyam Jay Shankar has resigned and joined the BJP he was appointed as Foreign Minister. Similarly, Ajit Kumar Doval, a former Director of Intelligence Bureau, was made the country’s senior National Security advisor. And now Ranjan Gogoi has been given the membership of Parliament. This will increase the temptation for a post retirement position among the honorable men of the present services in our country. And by following in the footsteps of their seniors, they will give the preference and prominence to government in power. This will give rise to a culture of greed & aspirations among civil servants for a life after retirement which will come in their way in performing their duties in the interest of the country and the protection of the constitution. This will increase political &economic coercion in the country and dramatically there will be an increase in the denial of the democratic rights to the weaker sections and minorities. Now, after the legislature in the country, Muslims are not getting any success in the fight for their rights in the judiciary also. This sectarian hostile environment prevails all over the country from the lowest to the highest strata of courts including the Supreme Court. Most of the times it appears the Supreme Court in its decisions especially in the sensitive issue related to the rights of the minorities which can hurt the Muslims and harm their future in this country if the Justice system get communal in its nature our future generation are going to pay a huge price.
Nazimuddin Farooqi (Scholar, Senior Analyst, Opinion Leader, Columnist and Social Worker)