NEW DELHI, Oct 3 - Justice Ranjan Gogoi was on Wednesday sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India. He is the first person from the Northeast to reach the top position of judiciary and will have a tenure of a little over 13 months before retiring on November 17, 2019.
President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath to Justice Gogoi at a brief ceremony at the historic Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan here this morning.
Justice Gogoi, who took the oath in English in the name of God, succeeds Justice Dipak Misra, who retired as Chief Justice of India yesterday. Justice Misra earlier this month recommended Justice Gogoi as his successor in accordance with the established practice of naming the senior-most judge after the CJI for the post.
Speculation over Justice Gogoi�s appointment as the next CJI arose after the court�s four senior-most judges called a press conference in January and criticised Justice Misra on various issues, especially the manner of allocation of cases to certain benches.
Justices J Chelameswar (since retired), Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph addressed the press meet, perhaps a first in the history of the Indian judiciary. They warned that democracy in the country was in danger.
Born on November 18, 1954, Justice Gogoi, who hails from Dibrugarh, joined the Bar in 1978 and practised mainly in the Gauhati High Court. He was appointed as a permanent judge of Gauhati High Court in February 2001. He was transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2010 and later was appointed as the court�s Chief Justice. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court in April 2012.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his predecessor Manmohan Singh and former premier HD Deve Gowda, besides Union ministers Rajanth Singh and Arun Jaitley, and other dignitaries. Several of his former colleagues from Assam, besides his immediate family members also attended the function.
Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandhpadhyay and Derek O�Brien were among the Opposition leaders present in the ceremony.
Justice Gogoi�s predecessor Justice Dipak Misra was seen shaking hands with dignitaries before the ceremony began. Former CJIs, including TS Thakur and JS Khehar, were also present.
After taking his oath, Justice Gogoi touched the feet of his mother Santipriya Gogoi and sought her blessings.
Talking to this newspaper, senior advocate and executive chairman of the Bar Council of India, Apurba Kumar Sarma, who attended the swearing-in ceremony, said that it is a proud moment for not only Assam but the entire Northeast. The region should feel proud for having a CJI for the first time,� he said.
Senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika, who also attended the function, said the assumption of office of Chief Justice of Supreme Court is a huge moment of pride for the Northeast and Assam.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Justice Gogoi went to the Supreme Court and presided over the bench along with Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph in the Court No. 1 which is the CJI�s court.
The new CJI began the day at the apex court by telling the lawyers that fresh parameters would be worked out for mentioning the matters for hearing those cases that required hearing on priority and urgent mentioning.
Justice Gogoi said, �no urgent mentioning of cases will be allowed� till certain parameters are fixed for it. �We will work out the parameters... then we will see as to how mentioning will be done,� he said.
�If somebody is going to be hanged or evicted tomorrow, then we can understand (urgency),� the CJI added.