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Activist lobby versus judiciary - CJI Gogoi needs to be careful in letting things go beyond control
Post the removal of Alok Verma as the CBI director, Justice AK Sikri came under attack from the activists' lobby placed in Delhi that wants that the judges to work as per their whims.

Former CJI Dipak Misra has already been subjected to such criticism and opposition from PIL activists. Their clout can be measured from the fact that an impeachment motion was initiated against CJI Misra. An unprecedented press conference was also held by four senior judges (including present CJI Gogoi) accusing Justice Misra of selectively allocating cases.

After becoming CJI Justice Ranjan Gagoi didn't cow down under pressure of this activists' lobby and started deciding matters on merit making the activists' lobby angry. Post Rafale verdict, this lobby started questioning the integrity of Justice Gogoi. Even before the SC had given the verdict, the lobby had started spreading the message through social media that the Rafale petition might be quashed by the CJI led bench. They even indirectly alleged that having dinner with Narendra Modi had made CJI Gogoi inclined towards the Central government.

They even started questioning the composition of the five judge bench for the Ayodhya case hearing. The point is this activists' lobby always wants to influence allocation of cases and verdicts in their favour. Almost all CJIs have faced such issues in the recent past. This lobby always takes advantage in internal groupism of the Supreme Court judges. First Justice Dipak Misra confronted this lobby and now CJI Gogoi is too confronting them. I wouldn't be surprised if another press conference is held by some judges against CJI Gogoi.

Now coming back to selection committee for taking a call on Alok Verma; in my article 'CBI versus CBI has neither exonerated Alok Verma nor rejected CVC probe report' published in this platform, I have very clearly analysed the verdict and said what would happen if the case goes to the selection committee. I said very clearly that SC verdict is a chance for honourable exit for Alok Verma. But Verma didn't get the sense of the verdict.

Now we should understand how a selection committee should work. PM being the chairman of the committee should give his verdict only after the other two members have given their verdict. Thus, I think Kharge gave a verdict for Verma and Justice Sikri gave a verdict against Verma. As a chairman the PM supported Justice Sikri's opinion. I think all committees work like this and I don't think this committee would have acted otherwise.

Anyway, the lobby started criticizing CJI Sikri citing his appointment to the Commonwealth Secretarial Arbitral Tribunal. In December, the government asked the consent which Justice Sikri agreed. Point must be noted that this consent was sought with the notice of CJI (as per the procedure) and Justice Sikri too consented with notice to CJI Gagoi. Originally CJI was to be part of the committee, however he nominated Justice Sikri. How can you question his integrity?

Now another interesting thing to note is the complaint that the PM is an interested party in the committee, Sikri too have influenced by PM. In that logic Kharge too is an interested party. Then the entire committee is an interested party. Then who should decide what is to be done, Prashant Bhushan-led activists' lobby or Rahul Gandhi?

I think CJI Ranjan Gogoi must be very strict and tackle these activists' lobby. If they influence the judiciary, then chaos will be there. But people close to Ranjan Gogoi know that he will not succumb under pressure and stick to the merits of the case/issue. That's really a good sign for India as a whole.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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