GUWAHATI: The spotlight was entirely on him when he came to the city on Sunday to release Assamese version of the book “Courts of India: Past to Present”, a day after a five-judge bench, headed by him, delivered the landmark judgment on Ayodhya title suit but Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi refrained from making even a passing allusion to the issue.
“I do not wish to get into any contentious issues. It is not the occasion,” Justice Gogoi said.
However, some of his colleagues, who were present at the function, did speak about it in the context of the CJI’s achievement.
“The over 1,000-page judgement (prepared) within two-three weeks, this is impossible. This shows his determination,” Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, who is a Supreme Court judge, remarked in his speech.
“Justice Gogoi is demitting office in the most difficult time. (CJI-designate) Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde’s task to take over is not easy. Whatever decisions he (Justice Gogoi) rendered will be remembered, for his courage and determination. He has come out with full sunshine. I feel he has a lot to give after retirement,” Justice Mishra said.
Justice Bobde said Justice Gogoi was completely partial in one area of his personal life and which was Assam stating that the CJI often tells the CJI-designate that he doesn’t wish to settle in Delhi after retirement and return to Guwahati and stay here.
“I hope he keeps on inviting us after that,” Justice Bobde said in a lighter vein.
“There is a famous story about him. This is remarkable that something that was said so many years ago came true. His father (Keshab Chandra Gogoi) predicted that he (Justice Gogoi) would become the CJI but not the Chief Minister of Assam,” Justice Bobde said.
His colleague Justice Shripathi Ravindra Bhat said, “It was a unique moment when the court spoke in one voice”. His reference was to the verdict in the Ayodhya case.
Justice Hrishikesh Roy, also of the apex court, said one needed leadership of judging and that leadership was well-displayed in Saturday’s judgement.
“We saw the CJI taking oath in the Rashtrapati Bhawan seeking the blessings of his mother. His mother must have blessed him to achieve what he has achieved during the short tenure of chief justiceship. But today, mother India will bless you and we are very confident of that,” Justice Roy said.
The “Courts of India: Past to Present” was published by the Supreme Court in 2016. It speaks of the history of courts and judicial institutions in the country.