Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday took oath as a nominated member of Rajya Sabha amidst protests and sloganeering by opposition MPs.
Rajya Sabha MP and former CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday said that the opposition lawmakers will soon welcome him in the Parliament. His remark came after opposition MPs raised slogans and staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha as soon as his name was called for oath-taking.
“They will welcome me very soon, there are no critics,” the newly appointed Rajya Sabha MP said.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday took oath as a nominated member of Rajya Sabha amidst protests and sloganeering by opposition MPs. Congress and Left MPs raised slogans like ‘Shame on You’ and ‘Deal’ and staged a walkout. However, the Samajwadi Party MPs remained seated inside the House when Justice Gogoi took the oath.
This was the first time ever that the House has witnessed slogan shouting and walkout during oath-taking.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu ordered that the slogans and shouting will not go on record and added that it was unfair to shout slogans. “It is very unbecoming of members of Parliament,” he said. “No, this is not the way. Nothing will go on record. Very unfair, very unfair,” the Chairman added.
Objecting to the slogans raised by MPs, the Chairman said, “You know the Constitutional provision, you know the precedent, you know the power of the President (to nominate a member to Rajya Sabha)”. He added that MPs have the liberty to express their views outside the House on the issue.
After taking the oath, Justice Gogoi walked up to the Chair to greet Venkaiah Naidu, also the Vice President. The Chairman responded to the MP’s greetings with folded hands.
Union Minister Ravi Shakar Prasad said what opposition members did today was grossly unfair. “This House has a great tradition of having many eminent persons coming from diverse fields including former justices nominated by those who have shouted today. Hon’ble member Gogoi, who has taken oath today, will surely contribute his best as a nominated member. And it was grossly unfair to do like this,” he said.
Justice Gogoi was nominated to Rajya Sabha by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. The vacancy was created after the retirement of KTS Tulsi.
Gogoi retired as the Chief Justice of India in November last year after a tenure of 13 months. His nomination to the Upper House invited a barrage of criticism from the opposition parties who alleged a quid pro quo. The Congress alleged that Gogoi’s nomination to Rajya Sabha within four months of his retirement will shake the confidence and faith people have in the independence of the judiciary.
During his 13-month tenure, Justice Gogoi delivered landmark judgements in the Ayodhya case, on the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the entry of women in Sabarimala temple, the Rafale jet deal and Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC).