The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking to constitute a three-member panel to look into the conduct of former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi as a judge of the court, PTI reported.
The top court called the plea “infructuous” as Gogoi, now a Rajya Sabha MP, has demitted the office. A bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, asked the petitioner why the plea was not moved in the past two years.
“Sorry, we can’t entertain,” the bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, told Arun Ramchandra Hublikar, the petitioner.
Hublikar argued that he had filed the plea in 2018 but it was not listed even after he had sent the registry many letters of reminder, India Today reported. The petitioner further informed the court that he had met the secretary general of the Supreme Court regarding the listing of the matter, but it availed no positive response.
The plea had sought an in-house inquiry by a committee of judges against Gogoi as a Supreme Court judge for alleged “omission and commission”. The terms, used in a legal context, refer to things that one failed to do and the things that could have been done.
Justice Gogoi was sworn on October 3, 2018 as the 46th chief justice of India. He was nominated to the Upper House in March, just four months after he retired as the chief justice on November 17, 2019.
In November, days before his retirement, the former chief justice had led proceedings in the Ayodhya land dispute case. A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by him unanimously decided to allot the disputed Ayodhya plot to a trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple there. The bench also ruled that a separate five-acre plot be allotted in Ayodhya to Muslims for the construction of a mosque.
Gogoi was also involved in a sexual harassment case after a woman employee had levelled allegations him. In April last year, the woman, who had earlier worked as a junior court assistant at the Supreme Court, alleged in an affidavit that Gogoi made sexual advances on her at his residence office on October 10 and October 11, 2018. Gogoi denied the allegations during a special hearing he called on April 20. The chief justice said he did not “deem it appropriate” to reply to the allegations but claimed they were part of a “bigger plot”, possibly one to “deactivate the office of the CJI”.