In this book on the Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022 for the first time, Gogoi tells the dramatic story of his life in fascinating detail. Justice for the Judge is also a definitive insider’s account that fills a significant gap in our understanding of the drama and majesty of the nation’s highest court. This autobiography states various effective judgments like Raffale, Chokidar Chor Hai case, Ayodhya, harassment case, etc. This book gives an insight into what goes on in the minds of a man entrusted with the functions of the judiciary of the world’s biggest democracy
- About Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022
- About the Author ( RANJAN GOGOI-Ex CJI)
- An important book from an important man ( Credit-Nikhil Sharma)
- Selective autobiography of a CJI (Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022)
- Insightful and sheds light on how the Higher Judiciary works
- Gogoi as a self-made Iron Man? (Credit-Swapnil Tripathi/Bar & Bench)
- Collegium: An unavoidable evil? (Credit-Swapnil Tripathi/Bar & Bench)
About Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022
” Clear-eyed, inspiring and incisive, this is the story of a man of consummate ambition, who made a significant and lasting mark on India’s judicial landscape.
The Supreme Court of India has witnessed a succession of larger-than-life chief justices in its seven-decade history. But it has never seen the likes of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Fiery yet charming, and simultaneously principled and pragmatic, Gogoi is a fascinating man of contrasts who has intrigued observers across the political and social spectrum.
Now, for the first time, Gogoi tells the dramatic story of his life in fascinating detail in Justice for the Judge. He traces his journey from Dibrugarh in Assam to the highest court of the land through people, landmark cases and his own judicial ambition, and reveals the lessons he learnt along the way about the country’s legal system.
Never one to shy away from contentious issues, Gogoi provides a no-holds-barred account of the extraordinary events that characterized his tenure in the apex court—the ‘infamous’ press conference prior to his elevation as the most powerful judge in the land, unsubstantiated allegations of sexual harassment and the impact of tabloid journalism.
He also takes readers through the important meetings, intense interactions and private confrontation that preceded the landmark verdicts authored by him—Rafale and the contempt proceeding initiated against Mr Rahul Gandhi, Sabarimala, NRC and Ayodhya.
Justice for the Judge is also a definitive insider’s account that fills a large gap in our understanding of the drama and majesty of the nation’s highest court. “
About the Author ( RANJAN GOGOI-Ex CJI)
” Son of a former chief minister of Assam, RANJAN GOGOI remained steadfast in the practice of law, which he chose to join after graduating from the Faculty of Law, New Delhi, in 1978. Earlier, he had spent five years in University of Delhi studying history at St Stephen’s College.
He preferred to wait for the call from the Bench instead of plunging into electoral politics, as many expected. The call came in February 2001 when he was appointed a judge of the Gauhati High Court. After serving as a judge for nearly two decades, he demitted office as the 46th Chief Justice of India on 17 November 2019.
Essentially a family man who has always kept a low profile—away from the limelight, Gogoi did not hesitate to answer life’s challenges whenever they arrived. Fiercely independent, he refused to be overawed by the series of controversial issues that had confronted him in and out of Court.
Criticized and revered in equal measure, he will be remembered for the undiluted verdicts in the Rafale and NRC cases and, of course, the litigation of the decade if not the century—the Ayodhya case.”
An important book from an important man ( Credit-Nikhil Sharma)
This is a wonderfully honest book coming from former CJI. The opposition parties have attacked him countless times to paint a dark picture. But Mr Gogoi brings the facts to the table and emphatically states the truth. A must read book for anyone interested in the rise of this great human being who has served our nation for so many decades.
He states facts about various important judgements like Raffale, Chokidar Chor Hai case, Ayodhya, harassment case etc. ( Credit-Nikhil Sharma) (Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022)
Selective autobiography of a CJI (Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022)
Credit-Sudhanshu Rajvanshi (Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022)
The author is a former CJI. The book , supposedly an autobiography covers his college life, judicial career and a little of his family life.
In any case, it is the exclusive perogative of a person whether he feels that his life is worth writing an autobiography and making available for others to read. Actually every human life is worthy of being crafted into an autobiography/biography.
The book is well written. The author is quite straight forward and truthfull inspite of the restrictions of the judicial carrer he belonged to. His memories of DU days, Jubilee Hall and New Delhi of seventies are delightfull. He could have obliged the readers with much more but the entire book appears to be edited with great caution. Again it’s the perogative of the author.
His description of the supreme allegation is extremely sad. Even the CJI is not insulated with this universal arm twisting tool at the workplace. The luck was on his side besides his impeccable efficiency and natural talent.
The NRC bill contribution is fabulously described. The Ayodhya verdict and the NRC reflect upon the meticulous, methodical, relentless working of the author. It is a pleasure to read how he dealt with these two.
Whatever rating people may give to his autobiography, this nation shall be forever indebted to him for these two services. The book can be purchased for mesmerising narration of these two only, however the entire book is a pleasure to read.
The quality of paper, printing, binding is excellent. It is a pleasure to hold the book and reading it. The price is reasonable as compared with the quality.
Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022
Insightful and sheds light on how the Higher Judiciary works
A well written autobiography of a Judge who pronounced one of the most important judgement in Indian History. A must read for those who want to gain insights on the functioning of the higher Judiciary. A great addition to your personal library. Justice Gogoi comes across as one of the judges who doesn’t mince words and yet is balanced. (credit-Rajdeep Saikia)/Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022
Judging a book by its (sealed) cover: A preview of Ranjan Gogoi’s ‘Justice for the Judge’ ( Credit- Sanjoy Ghose /Bar and Bench
Nominated Rajya Sabha Member Ranjan Gogoi, who incidentally was also the Chief Justice of India, has authored his memoirs under the curious title ‘Justice for the Judge.’ The publisher, Rupa Publications has a grand launch planned for this book on December 8, 2021, by none other than his worthy successor in office, Justice SA Bobde.
Even before the book has hit the stalls, it has generated a lot of heat and controversy on social media, which has surely ensured sufficient oxygen for it and promises robust sales. Mr Gogoi, who has effortlessly transitioned from judge to parliamentarian, is all set to make another transition as a best-selling author! I wish him all the best.
Perhaps, his personality apart, what could have generated this controversy is the eye-ball catching title Justice for the Judge. Implicit in this is a suggestion that, in some manner, the one-time occupant of India’s highest seat of justice has himself been deprived of justice!
While the title has riled many, I stand aside from the outraged lot and feel that there may be some truth behind this insinuation. I write in defence of the title as well as the insinuation. (Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022)
Gogoi as a self-made Iron Man? (Credit-Swapnil Tripathi/Bar & Bench)
Presenting Justice Gogoi as a strong and upright Judge seems to be the underlying theme of the book. This narrative starts from the book’s prologue, where Justice Gogoi speaks about himself in third person, narrating the story of a 15-year-old boy from Dibrugarh who made it to the highest court of the land, as its Chief Justice.
I personally find such an introduction to be slightly conceited (especially in an autobiography) and this belief is strengthened as the book proceeds. The book is replete with sentences like,
“I chose not to shirk what I inherited from my predecessors ,”
“…what cannot be lost sight of is that , the culmination of the matter would not have been possible,”
These reflections aim to portray him as an iron man, a tough Chief Justice and a judge who steered the Supreme Court through tough times.
Another narrative in the book shows Justice Gogoi as a self-made man despite coming from a privileged family. His father was a Senior Advocate at the Gauhati High Court and later became Chief Minister of Assam. His mother also came from a politician’s family. To his credit, he admits this privilege, but in my opinion, does it poorly. He highlights incidents like taking public transport during his days as an advocate, being an adjusting judge during his time in Gauhati etc. to drive home the point that despite being privileged, he lived within his means and made it on his own.
This narrative takes a hit when he discusses his time at the Bar. For instance, he narrates that on his first day at the Bar, many senior lawyers personally congratulated him on choosing the legal profession. Further, he states that his father had requested Gauhati’s most successful lawyer, JP Bhattacharjee to take his son as a junior.
Being a first-generation lawyer myself and having interacted with many others like me, I can confidently state that such perks don’t come around easily and Justice Gogoi was definitely at an advantage given his privilege.
However, what’s distasteful is that he underplays this privilege (rather unconvincingly) by saying that such gestures were part of the Bar’s convention and had nothing to do with his status. (Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022)
Collegium: An unavoidable evil? (Credit-Swapnil Tripathi/Bar & Bench)
Justice Gogoi devotes significant space to the Collegium system for appointment of judges in India and his experience being a part of it. The said system has often been attacked for its opaque nature, since its proceedings are conducted behind closed doors and reasons behind its decision to recommend a judge for elevation are not disclosed. The Collegium merely issues a notification with the names of the proposed judge/s sans the reason behind recommending their names. It should be noted that the Collegium system is a creation of the Supreme Court in , and did not find a place in the original text of the Constitution.
Justice Gogoi in the book argues that there is merit in not disclosing detailed reasons behind decisions of the Collegium. He bats for the existing system despite recognizing that it suffers from procedural opacity. To support his claim, he cites several decisions taken by the Collegium. Citing these cases weakens his argument rather than strengthening it.
First, he cites the case of Justice Surya Kant, who was appointed to the Supreme Court over his senior at the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal. Justice Gogoi writes that the basis for superseding Justice Mittal was an adverse remark by Collegium member Justice J Chelameshwar to the effect that ‘Mittal to his knowledge was not fit to be Chief Justice’. Later, Mittal was elevated as Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court during Gogoi’s tenure.
Second, he cites the case of Justice Akil Kureshi, who was recommended as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court by the Collegium. However, the executive expressed objection against his name based on a negative perception flowing from certain judicial orders passed by him. His name was sent back and later recommended for the Tripura High Court instead.
Third is the case of Justice VK Tahilramani (Chief Justice of the Madras High Court) who was transferred to the Meghalaya High Court. Justice Gogoi writes that the judge was transferred because some adverse information regarding her had come to light, including her irregular and infrequent sittings in Court. The Collegium believed that transferring her to a High Court with less work would solve the problem.
Justice Gogoi cites these instances to show that by withholding reasons behind their transfers, the Collegium protected their future tenures as Chief Justice of Meghalaya and Tripura. He writes, “if views of Justice Chelameswar were made public, it would not have allowed Mittal to become Chief Justice.” Regarding Kureshi, he writes, “if this fact was made available to the public it would have done the Judge more harm.”
Justice Gogoi’s approach is problematic as it disrespects High Courts like Tripura and Meghalaya, as they may be perceived as punishment postings. Despite defending the Collegium, Justice Gogoi himself highlights instances wherein the Collegium failed to recommend good judges for elevation. He writes about a judge who refused to clear 15-20 names on the ground that he did not remember the said advocate/s. He writes,
“Many persons considered eligible by three Chief Justices of High Courts get excluded because a consultee judge in the Supreme Court who had worked in the High Court a decade earlier, fails to recognise the names, the next Chief Justice has to fall back on names, which are, naturally not the first choice.”
He also writes about the impasse during the tenure of Chief Justice TS Thakur. During three Collegium meetings called by the Chief Justice, any name proposed was opposed by Justices JS Khehar and Dipak Misra, on the ground that they needed more time. At one meeting, Justice Thakur asked the Collegium members if they were interested in conducting any business. The said two judges remained silent and the meeting was called off.
Despite citing these incidents, he ultimately argues that we should repose some trust in the judges. All that they do is not necessarily wrong, as is sought to be projected. Given Justice Gogoi’s own recollections of the Collegium and India’s judicial history, this is a poor argument. Judges have often shown us that they do falter and cannot be trusted with judicial appointments. Even here however, he does not forget to praise himself and says, “from my experience as a member of the collegium and as the CJI presiding over the Collegium meetings, …” (Best review on JUSTICE FOR THE JUDGE 2022)
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