5-star meal, wine, not celebration of the Order of Ayodhya: Judge Gogoi at NDTV

Judge Gogoi’s brief has the photographs captioned “Landmark Ayodhya Verdict Celebration”.

New Delhi:

The recently published briefs of Judge Ranjan Gogoi, the former Chief Justice of India, include a photo of him with the other Ayodhya court judges at a dinner at a luxury hotel in Delhi, captioned “Celebration of Ayodhya’s verdict”.

In his book, Chief Justice Gogoi states, “In the evening (of rendering the verdict), I took the judges to dinner at the Taj Mansingh Hotel. We ate Chinese food and shared a bottle of wine, the best available there. I chose the tab, being the oldest. “

When asked if it was appropriate to celebrate the verdict in a contentious issue like Ayodhya’s dispute in an interview with NDTV, Judge Gogoi denied that the dinner was a celebration. “Not partying. Not partying. When you go out for dinner with friends, sometimes you don’t feel like trying the food outside?” He asked.

When asked if that wouldn’t seem callous, especially to those who may have lost judgment, he brushed it aside.

“Each of these judges worked and worked and worked for four months (on Ayodhya’s verdict). My judges and all of us worked so hard, we thought we were going to take a break. is not allowed? ” he told NDTV.

The interview was in light of Judge Gogoi’s autobiography, titled “Justice for the Judge,” which also addresses the controversy over his decision to preside over a convened hearing in light of the sexual harassment charges brought against him by a woman. court staff member. .

“In my book there is a phrase, with hindsight, maybe my participation on the bench was not correct,” he said.

He said the decision was prompted by concerns about his reputation.

“The CJI (Chief Justices of India) do not come down from the sky. 40 years of reputation accumulated through hard work is wanted to be destroyed, you have to take a call. Part of it goes wrong.”

At the end of the hearing, the Chamber issued an order asking the media to be careful not to report “senseless and scandalous allegations”, as if they were to quash the allegations against Judge Gogoi as soon as possible. start. However, Judge Gogoi, who himself was part of that training, said it was an “ineffective order”.

“The order is a kind of advice given to the media to refrain from reporting on the incident … There is no question of an effective order being passed, which has the effect of killing me. exonerate, as it was later called … What the judiciary was trying to say is that allegations that are savage and outrageous must be reported with due care and caution. That is all, ”a he declared.

On his controversial entry into the Rajya Sabha, the judge writes in his autobiography, which he “did not think twice before accepting”, and that he did not imagine that allegations would be raised that the siege “was a counterpart to the judgments handed down. in the Rafale and Ram Janmabhoomi cases. ”He goes on to say that he accepted the offer because it would give him the opportunity to highlight the problems of justice and his country of origin, Assam.

Rajya Sabha’s records show he has less than 10 percent presence in parliament.

“Personally, I didn’t feel very comfortable going there. And the pandemic is on and even today, I don’t feel very comfortable going to Rajya Sabha … Good that social distancing standards have been applied, they are not being met, “he said. said, when asked about his poor attendance record.

“The point is, I go to the Rajya Sabha, when I feel like it. When I think there are matters of importance that I should speak on… I am an appointed member. I am not governed. by no party whip. So every time the bell rings, so that the members of the party come, it does not bind me. I go, at my choice, and leave at my choice. an independent member of the house, ”he added.

Asked about allegations that the seat of parliament was a “reward” for his judgments in cases such as the Rafale and Ayodhya case, he said the judgments were not just his own and had been handed down by a judiciary.

Despite a controversial tenure, the judge said he had a clear conscience. “I could have a second term in Rajya Sabha,” he said.

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