Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who is presently a serving Rajya Sabha member, on Friday, 10 December, defended his poor attendance in the Parliament, citing concerns of personal health amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
When asked about his attendance at the Parliament, which is merely about 10 percent as per official records, Gogoi told NDTV in an interview:
"You ignore the fact that for one or two sessions, I have submitted a letter to the house saying that because of COVID, on medical advice I am not attending the session."
"I go to the Rajya Sabha whenever I feel like it," he added.
Gogoi was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in March 2020. Since then, he has 12 percent attendance in the Parliament, as compared to the national average of 79 percent, as per legislative research organisation PRS.
Further, has raised no questions in the House since he became a member.
Meanwhile, several netizens, Congress leader Manickam Tagore, took to Twitter to condemn Gogoi's response to the question of his poor attendance.
“I come at my choice & I leave by my choice “ says RS Member Gogoi… If every member thinks like this who will be in Rajya Sabha? Only marshals & staff. If you Make MPs for bungalows and privileges they will speak like this," Tagore said.
Gogoi's acceptance of his nomination to the Rajya Sabha in March 2020, merely 4 months after he retired from the Supreme Court, had been widely criticised at the time.
The former chief justice had been mired in controversy during his tenure as CJI as well, when allegations of sexual harrassment were levelled against him.
(With inputs from NDTV)