Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday, 19 March, took oath as a Rajya Sabha member amid sloganeering by Opposition parties. Senior Congress leaders walked out from the House in the middle of his oath and some chanted 'Shame' slogans.
Reacting to Opposition's protest, Gogoi later said, "I don’t want to comment on them".
"They (Opposition) will welcome me very soon, there are no critics," ANI quoted Gogoi as saying.
Condemning the action of Opposition parties, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha said, "RS has a great tradition of many eminent persons coming from diverse fields, including former CJIs. Gogoi who has taken oath today will surely contribute his best. It was grossly unfair to do like that (For Opposition to walk out during oath-taking ceremony)."
Earlier today, Gogoi also met Chairman of Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu in the Parliament.
“I have accepted the offer of the nomination to the Rajya Sabha because of strong conviction that the legislature and judiciary must, at some point of time, work together for nation-building,” he had earlier told a local news channel.
On Tuesday, he also said, “Let me first take oath, then I will speak in detail to the media why I accepted this and why I am going to Rajya Sabha.”
Reacting to the Gogoi's decision to take RS seat, Mahua Moitra, Trinamool Congress MP, said he had "absolutely no shame," NDTV reported.
She further added, "He has denigrated the institution, he has denigrated all of India in the eyes of the world. It is shameful a person who was chief justice is selling his soul for a house in Delhi, for a Rajya Sabha seat."
The former CJI was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by President Ram Nath Kovind on 16 March.
Gogoi, who headed benches that pronounced several key judgments including in the sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case, was on Monday last week nominated to Rajya Sabha by the government.
Gogoi also led the benches that ruled on Rafale fighter jet deal and entry of women in Sabarimala temple.
A notification announcing his nomination to the Upper House was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday night, PTI reported.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article, the President is pleased to nominate Shri Ranjan Gogoi to the Council of States to fill the vacancy caused due to the retirement of one of the nominated members," a notification issued by the home ministry said, according to PTI.
The vacancy was created due to retirement of KTS Tulsi.
Gogoi (65) retired as Chief Justice of India in November last year after a tenure of a little over 13 months. He will be the first former Chief Justice of India to be nominated to Rajya Sabha.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)