Justice Ranjan Gogoi was on Wednesday sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India. Known as a no-nonsense justice, Gogoi was observed keenly by the law fraternity on his first day as country’s top jurist. After the oath-taking ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan’s historic Darbar Hall, Gogoi started his day with some plain-speak over urgent mentioning of cases in the Supreme Court. Gogoi said that urgent hearings be disallowed till certain parameters are fixed unless someone is set to be “hanged or evicted”.
Later in the day, Gogoi addressed the issue of pendency of cases at an event organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association to felicitate him on his elevation as the country’s top judge.
The CJI said that he and his colleagues were trying to evolve a system to produce better results and reduce pendency of cases, as he expressed hope that vacancies in subordinate courts would be filled in three to four months. Gogoi pointed out that filling up the vacancies were not a problem but “getting the right man” was.
“The solution lies in getting the right man, and the right man will come only if the office maintains its aura and dignity. This is what I wanted to convey,” Justice Gogoi said.
“Let me tell you. Me and my colleagues are trying to evolve a system which can produce better results. We are working on it. We started working on it sometime back and may be in a couple of days, we will have it. We are trying to reduce the time between filing of cases and the listing of cases. We are trying to introduce a system by which the cases will not get dropped from the list,” Justice Gogoi said.
No to praise
Gogoi was seen a little displeased by praise for him inside the courtroom. Senior Lawyer Mathews Nedumpara, while trying to mention a matter, congratulated the CJI on becoming “captain of the judiciary”. However, Nedumpara was cut short by Justice Gogoi, who said, “Let us get back to the work. Mr Nedumpara, this is not the place for all this. We don’t need all this. You are here to mention? No mentioning till parameters are worked out”.
‘I am what I am’
In another remarkable statement, Justice Gogoi responded to the statement of the bar association president Vikas Singh, who said the present CJI is a “strict” man. “Mr Vikas Singh said I am a strict man. I am what I am. I can’t change,” Justice Gogoi said.