GUWAHATI: Rajya Sabha member and former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi’s first speech in the Upper House met with protest by several women leaders of the opposition, on August 7.
Four MPs – Jaya Bachchan from Samajwadi Party, Priyanka Chaturvedi representing Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray faction,Vandana Chavan from Nationalist Congress Party, and Sushmita Dev from TMC – staged a walkout in protest citing allegations of sexual harassment against the former Chief Justice of India.
Nevertheless, Gogoi went on with his first address in Rajya Sabha since becoming a member in 2020 and spoke in support of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2023.
Highlighting the Bill’s constitutional validity, Gogoi emphasised that the bill is perfectly valid based on his perception. He explained that while state legislatures make laws for states and Parliament makes laws for union territories, the NCT of Delhi has a unique status where legislature can enact laws except for three specific subjects.
The Lok Sabha had already passed this contentious bill after a five-hour debate last Thursday. Addressing concerns regarding encroachment on judicial decisions by passing this legislation, Gogoi stated unequivocally that as it stands today, the Centre’s ordinance cannot be seen as infringing upon or challenging any Supreme Court decision.
Earlier in April 2019, during his tenure as the Chief Justice of India, a former junior court officer had accused Gogoi of sexual harassment. However, a month later, a three-member in-house committee led by Justice SA Bobde unanimously cleared him of the charges, culminating any doubts regarding his reputation.