Supreme Court of India dismisses plea challenging CJI appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi

The Supreme Court of India dismissed the plea challenging the appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India, saying the petition was “devoid of merits”. “We are of the view that it is not the stage to interfere (with the appointment),” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

The petitioners who are advocates R P Luthra and Satyaveer Sharma had claimed that the judges “tried to arouse public furor in the country in the names of certain internal differences in this court”.

“This act of the four senior-most judges of the court was not less than a sabotage to the judicial system of the country,” stated the plea.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud had asked Luthra to file the mentioning memo before the court master.

In their plea, Luthra along with Sharma had said they were seeking adjudication of the question of law for which they were relying on the contents of the press conference of January 12, called by four senior judges (Justices Chelameswar (since retd), Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph) of the apex court.

The plea had said the petitioners were also relying on an undated letter addressed to Chief Justice of India and circulated by the four apex court judges.

It had said that “the petitioners are aggrieved of the actions and omissions on the part of respondent 1 (Union of India) and respondent 2 (Chief Justice of India), which has resulted into appointment of respondent 3 (Justice Ranjan Gogoi) as the Chief Justice of India instead of reprimanding him for his illegal and anti-institutional act”.

The petition had said that act of Respondent 1 and Respondent 2 “is illegal and unconstitutional and also against the canons of law because the appointment on highest post of judiciary has been awarded to a person who is guilty of committing judicial impropriety and judicial misconduct”.

The plea had also sought quashing of the order of appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the Chief Justice of India with effect from October 3.

Earlier, rumors arose of Justice Gogoi’s appointment as the next CJI after the apex court’s most senior judges, of which included him had called for a press conference in January, citing Justice Misra’s bias on allocation of cases to certain benches.

Earlier, outgoing Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who is set to leave his office on October 2, recommended Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s name to the government of India. The outgoing CJI has to recommend a name 30 days before leaving office.

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