The Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was given farewell at the Supreme Court premises on Thursday as today is his last day as the CJI. Gogoi is retiring on November 17. Justice Sharad Arvind will take oath as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI), on November 18th. Earlier today, Gogoi went to the Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
Delhi: Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. Today is his last working day as the Chief Justice of India. CJI Gogoi retires on November 17. pic.twitter.com/8PBudzWg7Y
— ANI (@ANI) November 15, 2019
Though the CJI is only officially retiring on November 17, Friday is his last working day. The day began at 10:30 am. 10 matters listed before his bench, also comprising of CJI-designate S A Bobde, were disposed of swiftly and notices were issued and stay was granted in all of them.
On Friday, Ranjan Gogoi expressed his inability to have one-to-one interview with scribes and lauded the press for its “maturity” and “character” in preventing “canards and falsehood” in “trying times” of the judiciary.
Justice Gogoi, the 46th CJI and the first from a north-eastern state, said it was not the requirement of the Supreme Court that judges “reach out to our citizenry through the press”.
“Such outreach (to the press) ought to be symbolic of an extraordinary situation demanding an exception to the norm,” said Justice Gogoi who would demit office on November 17, a Sunday.
Justice Gogoi and three other senior most apex court judges—Justices J Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph had held an unprecedented press conference on January 12, 2018 alleging that the administration and allocation of cases in the apex court, then headed by the then CJI Dipak Misra, was “not in order”.
In a three-page common letter to journalists, the CJI declined the request for interviews and said: “I would not be able to meet your request for a one-to-one meet.”
The letter said: “I am keen that you would appreciate that the ordinary freedoms are finely balanced in our institutional functioning - 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.
“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 lauded the role of media for its reportage during the “trying times” of the apex judicial institution.