NEW DELHI: Judges are required to maintain silence while exercising their freedom, outgoing CJI Ranjan Gogoi said on his last working day.
Explaining why he cannot give one-on-one interviews to journalists, the CJI in a three-page statement issued said, “I am keen that you would appreciate that the ordinary freedom are finely balanced in our institutional functioning. While you have the Bar whose members can exercise their freedom of speech to the extent of even pushing the boundaries of such freedom, the bench requires its judges to maintain silence, while exercising their freedoms. This is not to say that Judges do not speak. They do speak, but only out of functional necessity, and no more. Bitter truth must remain in memory.”
CJI Gogoi retires on Sunday after a tenure of a little over 13 months as CJI.
He thanked the media for displaying maturity in their reporting when he went through “trying times”. Justice Gogoi had faced sexual harassment charges from a woman employee of SC but later got a clean chit by a three-judge bench led by CJI designate S A Bobde.
Good press is also a parameter amongst others that is known to be indicative of our institutional health. In such view, I do wish to put on record that by and large, the press corps has been kind to my office as well as to our institution during my tenure at the helm of the institution. Even during trying times, when our institution was keeping an ambush or two at bay, most members of the press displayed maturity and character.
“Media exercised exceptional discretion to prevent canards, falsehoods from clogging news space. At trying times, the stellar role of journalists as defenders of truth and democratic ideals came to the fore,” he said.
Gogoi was a part of the January 2018 press conference by top four SC judges against then CJI Dipak Misra’s style of functioning.