A plea was filed in the Supreme Court against the nomination of former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi's nomination to Rajya Sabha, as per news reports. In an unprecedented move, the President had nominated Gogoi to the upper house of Parliament this week, barely four months after he stepped down as the top judge of the apex court. The plea has been filed by Madhu Kishwar, on the ground that the 'independence of judiciary' is an essential part of the basic structure of the Constitution and also considered a pillar of democracy. The strength of judiciary lies in the faith citizens of this country have in it, the petition states, as per news website Bar and Bench.
Gogoi's nomination, at President's behest, has been questioned by opposition parties, who have termed the government's decision as an 'assault' on the independence of the judiciary.
The Congress accused the government of making a serious assault on the basic structure of the Constitution by nominating former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha, saying the act subsumes the independence of the judiciary. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi also said the action has hit the faith and belief that people had in judiciary, as per news agency PTI.
The Congress leader also used the remarks made by late BJP leader Arun Jaitley to attack the government saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have at least paid heed to the words of their own leader before nominating the former CJI.
"The Congress finds the nomination of a retired chief justice to the Rajya Sabha as one of the most serious, unprecedented and unpardonable assaults on the basic structure of the Constitution, which subsumes independence of judiciary as held by Supreme Court judgments," Singhvi told reporters.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also asked whether Modi considered the advice of his late law minister before nominating Gogoi.
"Did PM Modi consider the advice of his former colleague and Law Minister and Finance Minister, Late Sh. Arun Jaitley before recommending Ex-CJI, Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha," he asked on Twitter.
"Justice Lokur rightly summarises it -: ''Has the last bastion fallen?''," Surjewala said in another tweet.
Singhvi said that Modi could have adhered to Jaitley''s advice in this regard and he also highlighted and shared the 2012 remarks of the minister on having a cooling off period for judges to head tribunals.
He said that Modi, Union minister Amit Shah should have listened to Jaitley''s remarks if they were bot listening to the Congress.
"Did he not speak and write against post-retirement largesse to judges? Do u remember," he said.
"...Courts function on faith trust perception and faith. Each has taken a bad beating today," he said.
Not only Congress, retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, including Justices Madan Lokur, Kurien Joseph and AP Shah among others, have questioned the President's proposed move to send Gogoi to Rajya Sabha.
(With PTI inputs)