Even God Cannot Shake My Faith In CJI Ranjan Gogoi
Even if God himself appears before me and says anything against this incumbent CJI Ranjan Gogoi, I will say pointblank that, “You are God and can never speak lies. But I consider this CJI Ranjan Gogoi as one who can never do anything wrong. If you say anything against me I will immediately believe it. If you say anything against anyone else I will certainly believe it. But if you say anything against this CJI Ranjan Gogoi then certainly I will refuse to believe it. If you feel bad then I can’t help it!”
Even if my own parents or my brother or my best friend Sageer Khan who when I had lost my unflinching faith in Lord Shiva took a vow from me that I shall always worship him till my last breath in 1994 or other friends whom I love dearly say anything against this CJI Ranjan Gogoi, I will still just not believe it. It is this CJI who inspite of qualifying for Civil Services opted for law as a profession and it was this CJI who decided to give up his roaring practice and become a Judge so that he can contribute for people’s welfare invaluably! Even if hundred bullets pierce my heart they would not give me so much of wound as these allegations against CJI have given me! No medicine can heal them ever! If such allegations were made even against me I would have still tolerated it but such serious allegations against this CJI who has always enjoyed an totally impeccable reputation has shattered me to the hilt but my unflinching faith in him still remains intact and shall always remain so in the future also!
It was for the first time in my life that I had noticed that a CJI took personal interest in filling up Judges vacancies at all levels. For the first time vacancies of UP HJS were issued two times in a year which is unprecedented never heard of before and even before the initial mains exams were held, fresh vacancies were notified. All the aspirants at that point of time were full of praise for him for having taken decisive action by ensuring that judicial vacancies are promptly filled!
Not just this, more than 100 vacancies of UP HJS are scheduled to be notified shortly. The same is true for other states. It is solely because this CJI Ranjan Gogoi immediately on assuming office in October last year immediately took suo motu notice of it and issued warning to all High Courts to fill up vacancies immediately or else the power of appointing Judges would be taken away from them and given either to UPSC or the Supreme Court will step in to fill in the vacancies! Has any CJI ever before acted so swiftly to ensure that judicial vacancies are filled up? Certainly not!
It is this same CJI Ranjan Gogoi who had earlier demonstrated zero tolerance against corruption at all levels and had compelled a sitting Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court to resign after allegations surfaced of corruption against that Judge! For first time in my entire life did I feel seriously that a CJI wants to reform the judicial system and fill in all the vacancies! It is a fact also which no one can deny!
It is heartening to note that this CJI Ranjan Gogoi is not afraid of any inquiry because he has nothing to hide! Why did the concerned woman who has made serious allegations against CJI Ranjan Gogoi not complained immediately against him to the police? Why did she take such a long time to speak up?
Why she has not produced any clinching evidence to prove her point? Why did she keep quiet for a long period? Why didn’t she immediately speak up? This itself speaks for what is the real story!
If any sane person goes through his rulings they will speak for themselves what type of character he has! He has never hesitated to take action against top politicians and top bureaucrats and powerful people! Who can behave like this? Only an honest person with an impeccable character!
This alone explains why in my humble article titled “CJI Ranjan Gogoi Is Determined To Ensure Sweeping Changes In Judiciary” I have not praised him extravagantly but written what is the real truth! We all know that it is this CJI Gogoi who has ensured that no senior advocate is given out of turn hearing! It is this CJI who laid down strict rules for arguing cases!
I have no axe to grind with this CJI and if in future I decide to ever practice in Supreme Court, he (CJI Gogoi) would have retired by then as he has just few months left! So there is no reason why I will ever bat for him for some vested cause! I will not hide that I was certainly disappointed when he appreciated the issue of setting up a high court bench in West UP as more than 9 crore people of 26 districts were being compelled foolishly to travel so far to Allahabad just to attend a court hearing as there is no bench here because both high court and single bench at Lucknow are in Eastern UP but said that it was for Centre to take the decision when a woman lawyer KL Chitra filed PIL last year! When Centre fails to act for more than 70 years in setting up a bench in West UP even though it lost no time to set up a bench at Lucknow in 1948 on July 1 then judiciary must act and moreso when the Bench issue is directly connected with judiciary and when Justice Jaswant Singh Commission also had categorically recommended that a high court bench must be set up in West UP! But that has certainly not shaken my unflinching faith in him and his personal integrity!
It was Justice Gogoi who had ruled in 2013 that no one could contest elections without a full and honest disclosure of their assets and also their educational and criminal antecedents. It was Justice Gogoi who in August 2018 led a Bench that instructed Centre to put in place special courts for the speedy trial of criminal cases involving politicians! It was Justice Gogoi who wanted that reservations for Scheduled Castes should be state specific and kept Jats out of the ambit of OBCs in central services as he felt that they are well off which certainly cannot be questioned!
Even if some inquiry panel finds him guilty, even if a retired Supreme Court Judge finds him guilty, even if all the Supreme Court Judges speak against him, even if the Lokpal speaks against him, even if the entire nation speaks against him, even if the whole world speaks against him still I will always trust him fully because it is in this CJI that I felt for first time an urge to change the system and to wipe out the rot prevalent in the system! I have every right as a citizen of India to have my own view and no one can force his/her views on me! I am sure that truth will certainly prevail sooner or later! CJI’s reputation has certainly suffered immensely but I rate character as far more important than reputation! This is because I very strongly believe that, “When you lose your reputation, you fall in the eyes of others but when you lose your character you fall in your own eyes”!
I am hundred percent certain that CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s character shall always remain intact and no power can ever dent it even slightly and at the risk of repetition let me say this again that not even God nor my parents nor anyone else can shake my unflinching faith in this CJI who right from day one started taking concrete steps like suo motu to fill up judicial vacancies and this cannot be ever lost sight of! The reward he is getting is he has become first CJI on whom so serious allegations have been levelled! Who will benefit if he is removed from office? Those who didn’t like his dead honesty and his firm determination not to give anyone any special treatment at any cost!
Let me make it very clear: He (CJI Ranjan Gogoi) commands respect from me not just because he became CJI but because his life speaks for itself and how he rejected power by rejecting the prestigious Civil Services and simultaneously money also by accepting Judgeship instead of continuing with his roaring practice just like other senior lawyers where he could have made huge amount of money without any difficulty! The money which he has made as a Judge is nothing! Even new law graduates working under senior lawyers in higher courts earn more money than CJI!
A Judge values his reputation more than anything else! But I value character more than reputation or anything else and with his character being uncompromising there is no reason for him to worry on any score! This is what makes me also relaxed when I think about him!
By Sanjeev Sirohi