Ex-Chief Justice of India and Rajya Sabha MP Ranjan Gogoi in his new autobiography (released on December 8) has laid bare how he was stopped from giving the verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi case. In the book, Gogoi mentions how on the last day of the 40-day continuous hearing cycle, a certain, unnamed influential person wanted to storm into the compounds and disrupt the hearing.
Justice Gogoi writes in his book that around afternoon, he received a slip of paper from the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court stating that a representative of one of the parties to the Ayodhya matter was seeking permission to enter the Supreme Court.
Justice Gogoi alerted his colleagues about the potential disruptor:
The former CJI mentions in his book, “Justice Bobde, who was to my right, and Justice Chandrachud, on my left, asked about the note as receipt of notes from registrars in the midst of hearing by a five-judge Bench is somewhat unusual. Since it pertained to an administrative matter, I told them accordingly.”
Sensing that the person was asking permission to cause disruption, Justice Gogoi sent a handwritten reply back to the Secretary-General, saying that “under no circumstances was the person to be allowed entry” into the court.
He wrote, “A bona fide visitor to the Supreme Court in connection with his case is always entitled to a visitor’s pass through his Advocateon-Record. Since this person was approaching the Registry or the Secretary-General for entry, I sensed that his objective was not well-intended but aimed at disrupting the hearing. Had he been able to do that, the court proceedings would have been affected and the case may have had to be adjourned,”
Ram Mandir judgement was an occasion to make an invaluable contribution – Justice Gogoi:
While the nuisance element was stopped from creating any mess, Justice Gogoi also offered a rare insight into the last few days leading up to the writing of the historic judgment, which he dubbed an ‘occasion for India’s judiciary to make an invaluable contribution to the odyssey of mankind’.
The unanimity of opinion regarding the decision of allotting the land to Hindus for constructing the Ram mandir and that the Muslim parties should be allowed a five-acre alternative plot formed slowly, after days of discussion amongst the five apex court judges. However, once it did, none of the five wavered, and remained united.
Reportedly, it was Justice Gogoi who suggested to the other judges that not only should the judgment be unanimous, but that there should also be only one judgment and the name of the author should not be disclosed.
Justice Gogoi – a thorn in the flesh for liberals:
Much has been said and written about Ranjan Gogoi’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha with the opposition attempting to smear his integrity. Gogoi is the son of ex-CM of Assam, Kesab Gogoi, who belonged to the Indian National Congress.
He became a darling of the lobby when he attended the press conference, as the SC judges protested against the then CJI Dipak Misra over the allotment of benches.
His appointment as the CJI was met with much fanfare among the liberal cabal, but soon turned into disdain as Gogoi altered the status quo during his tenure and presided over important judgement like the aforementioned Ram Mandir verdict and Rafale verdict.
Since then, fake allegations of Justice Gogoi having a quid-pro-quo arrangement with the government have been peddled by the Lutyen’s media. However, Justice Gogoi, in one of his recent interviews stated that he is targeted because of his northeastern identity.
Whatever the vendetta campaign of media and certain sections of the civil society against Justice Gogoi may be, the former CJI has lodged his name in the history books, and generations will remember him for penning the judgment that gave Hindus their pious Ram Mandir back.