Justice R Gogoi's Remarks To NDTV Trigger Privilege Notice

Justice Ranjan Gogoi was responding to a question on his poor attendance since his nomination to the Rajya Sabha.

"I go to the Rajya Sabha whenever I feel like it," Justice Gogoi had told NDTV

New Delhi:

Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi's comments in an interview to NDTV have resulted in a privilege notice in parliament against him. "I go to the Rajya Sabha whenever I feel like it," Justice Gogoi had told NDTV in the interview focused on his memoir "Justice for the Judge".

Justice Gogoi's statements are in contempt of the Rajya Sabha, undermine the dignity of the house and constitute breach of privilege, the notice submitted by two Trinamool Congress MPs said today.

The notice highlighted the Chief Justice and Rajya Sabha member's controversial remarks when asked about his poor attendance in parliament.

"You ignore the fact that for one or two sessions, I had submitted a letter to the house saying due to Covid (on grounds of medical advice) I will not be attending the session. Until a little before the last Winter Session, you could enter the Rajya Sabha after only an RT-PCR and personally I did not feel comfortable going there. Social distancing norms have been enforced, they are not being observed. The sitting arrangements, I don't find very comfortable. I go to the Rajya Sabha when I feel like, when I think there are matters of importance on which I should speak. I am a nominated member, not governed by any party whip. Therfore, whenever the bell rings for the party members to come, it does not bind me, I go there of my choice and come out on my choice... I am an independent member of the house," Justice Gogoi said in the interview.

Justice R Gogoi's remarks to NDTV that triggered privilege motion:

He also told NDTV: "What is the magic about Rajya Sabha? I would have been better off in terms of pay, emoluments if I had been chairman of a tribunal. I am not taking a penny from the Rajya Sabha."

Parliament records show that Justice Gogoi signed in for less than 10 per cent of all sittings since March 2020.

If the Rajya Sabha chairman finds merit in the notice, it can be forwarded to the house Privilege Committee. Based on the report of the committee, if a privilege motion is passed in the Rajya Sabha, members stand to lose their Rajya Sabha membership.

In his just-published memoir, Justice Gogoi had defended his decision to join the Rajya Sabha four months after retiring from the Supreme Court, against widespread criticism.

He said he accepted the position without hesitation since he wanted to raise issues of the judiciary and the northeast region, to which he belongs.