A day after former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi raised doubts about the basic structure of the Constitution, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said on Wednesday said that the opinions of retired judges are not binding, PTI reported.
On Monday, Gogoi, now a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, had said in the House that the basic structure of the Constitution has a “very debatable jurisprudential basis”. He had made the remarks while voicing his support to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill.
In laying down the basic structure of the Constitution in 1973, the Supreme Court had said that the legislature cannot make amendments that remove certain essential features of the Constitution.
Notably, during his tenure as the chief justice, Gogoi had invoked the basic structure doctrine while adjudicating several critical cases.
On Wednesday, without naming Gogoi, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned that questions have been raised on the basic structure of the Constitution.
Justice Chandrachud said that once a judge demits office, their opinions “are not binding diktats”, reported Bar and Bench.
“If you refer to a colleague, you have to refer to a sitting colleague,” the chief justice said. “Once they cease to be judges, they are opinions, not binding diktats.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta interjected saying that Parliamentary proceedings should not be discussed in courts. He added that every person has the right to freedom of speech and expression.