Ranjan Gogoi

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Ranjan Gogoi

CJI Ranjan gogoi.jpg
46th Chief Justice of India
Assumed office
3 October 2018
Appointed byRam Nath Kovind
Preceded byDipak Misra
Judge of the Supreme Court of India
In office
23 April 2012 – 2 October 2018
Appointed byPrathiba Patil
Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court
In office
12 February 2011 – 23 April 2012
Preceded byMukul Mudgal[1]
Succeeded byAdarsh Kumar Goel (acting)
Personal details
Born (1954-11-18) 18 November 1954 (age 64)
Dibrugarh, Assam, India[2]
ChildrenRaktim Gogoi and Rashmi Gogoi [3] [4]
FatherKeshab Chandra Gogoi[5]
Alma materUniversity of Delhi

Ranjan Gogoi (born 18 November 1954)[6] is an Indian judge serving as the 46th and current Chief Justice of India since 3 October 2018.[7] His term as Chief Justice ends on 17 November 2019.[8] He is the first person from Northeast India and first Assamese to become Chief Justice of India.

Early life and career[edit]

Ranjan Gogoi is son of Congress leader Kesab Chandra Gogoi who served as Assam Chief Minister for two months in 1982. Gogoi attended Don Bosco in Dibrugarh, before moving to Delhi to complete pre-university and graduate studies. He studied at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, graduating with honours in history. He then attended Delhi University, where he received a law degree.[9][10]

Gogoi enrolled at the bar in 1978, and practised at the Gauhati High Court, where he was made a Permanent Judge on 28 February 2001. He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 9 September 2010, becoming its Chief Justice on 12 February 2011. On 23 April 2012, he was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court.[11][12]

On 3 October 2018, he was appointed Chief Justice of India, succeeding Dipak Misra.[7]

Significant Judgments & Orders[edit]

On Arbitration[edit]

A bench composing of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R. Banumathi observed that in the absence of arbitration agreement, the court can only refer parties to arbitration with written consent of parties. This could be only be by a joint memorandum or application, not oral consent given by counsel.[13]

On Re-assessment of Income of Amitabh Bachchan for the year 2002-03[edit]

On May 2016, a bench comprising Justices Gogoi and PC Pant quashed a 2012 Bombay High Court order that dismissed CIT's power to re-assess income of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan that he allegedly had from the popular TV quiz show, Kaun Banega Crorepati.

In October 2002, Bachchan filed returns showing income of Rs 14.99 crore for 2002-03. On March 31, 2003, he filed revised returns, declaring total income for 2002-03 in which he claimed expenses at 30% ad hoc amounting to Rs 6.31 crore, showing his income at Rs 8.11 crore. In March 2005, Income Tax Department determined the actor’s income at Rs 56.41 crore for the assessment year 2002-03.[14][15][16]

Dismissal of advocate Kamini Jaiswal’s petition seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe[edit]

Led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, on 24 January 2018 the Supreme Court dismissed Advocate Kamini Jaiswal’s petition seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigate attacks on then JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar 15 and 17 February 2016, at Patiala House Court while he was escorted to courtroom in a sedition case.[17]

On Govindaswamy vs State Of Kerala[edit]

23-year-old Soumya, an employee of a Kochi shopping mall, was assaulted by one Govindaswamy in an empty ladies' coach of Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train on February 1, 2011. She was allegedly pushed off from the slow-moving train, carried to a wooded area and subsequently raped. She succumbed to injuries at the Government Medical College Hospital, Thrissur, on February 6, 2011. Govindaswamy was awarded death sentence under section 302 IPC for committing murder by a trial court and the order was upheld by Kerala high court on December 17, 2013.

On 15 September 2016, the Apex Court Bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit set aside the death penalty awarded for the Offence of Murder (S.302) and sentenced Govindaswamy to a maximum of Life imprisonment for Rape (s.376 IPC) and other offences of causing bodily injuries.

However, to hold that the accused is liable under Section 302 IPC what is required is an intention to cause death or knowledge that the act of the accused is likely to cause death. The intention of the accused in keeping the deceased in a supine position, according to P.W. 64, was for the purposes of the sexual assault. The requisite knowledge that in the circumstances such an act may cause death, also, cannot be attributed to the accused, inasmuch as, the evidence of P.W. 64 itself is to the effect that such knowledge and information is, in fact, parted with in the course of training of medical and para-medical staff. The fact that the deceased survived for a couple of days after the incident and eventually died in Hospital would also clearly militate against any intention of the accused to cause death by the act of keeping the deceased in a supine position. Therefore, in the totality of the facts discussed above, the accused cannot be held liable for injury no.2. Similarly, in keeping the deceased in a supine position, intention to cause death or knowledge that such actions may cause death, cannot be attributed to the accused. We are, accordingly, of the view that the offence under Section 302 IPC cannot be held to be made out against the accused so as to make him liable therefor. Rather, we are of the view that the acts of assault, etc. attributable to the accused would more appropriately attract the offence under Section 325 IPC. We accordingly find the accused-appellant guilty of the said offence and sentence him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years for commission of the same...

...While the conviction under Section 376 IPC, Section 394 read with Section 397 IPC and Section 447 IPC and the sentences imposed for commission of the said offences are maintained, the conviction under Section 302 IPC is set aside...[18]

Following the judgement of setting aside the death sentence of the accused in the said Govindaswamy vs State Of Kerala case, Justice Rajan Gogoi and his bench were severely criticized by members of the public, political leaders including Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, Law Minister of Kerala, A.K. Balan, Senior CPI(M) leader V. S. Achuthanandan, media members and legal luminaries including Supreme Court lawyer Kaleeswaram Raj and Supreme Court Justice (retd) Markandey Katju. Justice (retd) Katju had called the Supreme Court's September 15 verdict a "grave error" not expected of "judges who had been in the legal world for decades". The blog dated September 17 had castigated the Bench for believing "hearsay evidence" that Soumya jumped off the train instead of being pushed out by Govindaswamy. In the blog, Justice (retd) Katju had written,

Even a student of law in a law college knows this elementary principle that hearsay evidence is inadmissible.[19][20]

In response, the SC bench led by Justice Rajan Gogoi decided to convert that blog by Justice Markandey Katju into a review petition and asked him to personally appear in court to debate.[21] On November 11, 2016, he appeared in the court and submitted his arguments. The Court then dictated the order rejecting the review petition and issued contempt of court notice to him stating that "Prima facie, the statements made seem to be an attack on the Judges and not on the judgment".[22][23][24] On January 6, 2017, The Supreme Court has accepted Justice Markandey Katju’s apology and closed the contempt proceedings against him.[25]

On people who are originally inhabitants of the state of Assam[edit]

On 5 December 2017, while disposing off a Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1020 of 2017, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha & Others Versus Union of India & Others clubbed with similar other petitions seeking clarification as to the meaning of people who are originally inhabitants of the state of Assam, a term which appears in a schedule to the Citizenship (Registration Of Citizens And Issue Of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 pertaining to special provision as to manner of preparation of National Register of Indian Citizen in state of Assam, the bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi & Rohinton Fali Nariman observed that

The exercise of upgradation of NRC is not intended to be one of identification and determination of who are original inhabitants of the State of Assam..... Citizens who are originally inhabitants/residents of the State of Assam and those who are not are at par for inclusion in the NRC.[26]

The National Register of Indian Citizens or in short the NRC, at its root, comprises all the Local Registers of Indian Citizens containing details of Indian citizens usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area (demarcated by the Registrar General of Citizen Registration) within a ward in a town or urban area.

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Card) Rules, 2003 were amended in November 2009 and March, 2010 for preparation of National Register of Citizens by inviting applications from all the residents in Assam for updation of the old National Register of Citizens (NRC) 1951 in Assam based on relevant records. In order to undertake updating of NRC in all districts of Assam, pilot projects for updating of NRC in two blocks (one each in Kamrup and Barpeta districts) were started in June, 2010. Subsequently, pilot projects were stopped due to law and order problems.[27] A second attempt to update the register for Assam was made by the Government of India through issuing a Gazette Notification in December 2013.

On 17 December 2014, the bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi & Rohinton Fali Nariman mandated the Government of India to complete the finalization of final updated NRC for the entire state of Assam by 1 January 2016.[28][29]

2018 Supreme Court of India crisis[edit]

On 12 January 2018, Justices Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices J Chelameswar, M B Lokur, and Kurian Joseph of the Supreme Court of India, for the first time in the history of the Supreme Court, held a press conference, alleging problems plaguing the Supreme Court, failure in the justice delivery system and allocation of cases. During the press meet, the four judges told journalists that the press conference was prompted by the issue of allocating to Justice Arun Mishra,[30] the case of the death of special CBI Judge B.H.Loya.[31] Loya, was a special CBI judge who had died in December, 2014. Justice Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case of 2004, in which police officers and BJP chief Amit Shah are named. Later Justice Arun Mishra recused himself from the case.[32] Justice Chelameswar retired on June 30, 2018, leaving Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court of India followed by Justices M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.[33]


  1. ^ "Former Hon'ble Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana". highcourtchd.gov.in. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  2. ^ Karmakar, Rahul (8 September 2018). "Who is Ranjan Gogoi, and what is he known for?". The Hindu.
  3. ^ https://aajtak.intoday.in/story/special-report-cji-shanti-gogoi-supreme-court-1-1032364.html
  4. ^ Prakash, Satya (5 April 2017). "SC judges' sons object to inclusion in Punjab panel". The Tribune.
  5. ^ "Ranjan Gogoi sworn in as SC judge". The Assam Tribune. 24 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi". Supreme Court of India. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012.
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  11. ^ "Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi". Supreme Court of India.
  12. ^ "In Ranjan Gogoi, northeast will have representation in Supreme Court". The Hindu. 29 March 2012.
  13. ^ http://www.livelaw.in/courts-cant-refer-parties-arbitration-oral-consent-given-counsel-sc-read-judgment/
  14. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan gets apex court notice over crorepati income". 9 January 2013.
  15. ^ http://itatonline.org/archives/wp-content/files/amitabh_bacchan_147_reopening.pdf
  16. ^ http://itatonline.org/archives/wp-content/uploads/Amitabh-Bachchan-263-Revision.pdf
  17. ^ https://www.livelaw.in/dont-want-flog-dead-horse-sc-turns-plea-sit-probe-attack-kanhaiya-kumar-court-premises/
  18. ^ https://www.livelaw.in/breaking-soumya-rape-murder-case-sc-acquits-govindachami-murder-charges-awards-life-term-rape/
  19. ^ "SC issues contempt notice to Markandey Katju; 'not scared' says the retired judge - Times of India ►".
  20. ^ Rajagopal, Krishnadas (17 October 2016). "SC to Katju: Join the Soumya case hearing" – via www.thehindu.com.
  21. ^ "SC to Katju: Join the Soumya case hearing". thehindu.com. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  22. ^ "SC issues contempt notice to Markandey Katju; 'not scared' says the retired judge". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  23. ^ "Markandey Katju 'escorted' out of court, SC slaps contempt notice on former judge". firstpost.com. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  24. ^ "SUO MOTU CONTEMPT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.4 OF 2016" (PDF). sci.nic.in/. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  25. ^ "Supreme Court accepts Justice Markandey Katju's apology, closes contempt proceedings". indian express. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
  26. ^ https://www.sci.gov.in/supremecourt//2017/2017__Judgement_05-Dec-2017.pdf
  27. ^ https://mha.gov.in/MHA1/Par2017/pdfs/par2014-pdfs/ls-150714/731.pdf
  28. ^ http://nrcassam.nic.in/images/pdf/01.pdf
  29. ^ "Top court order on NRC - SC gives Centre, Assam 3 years to update register". www.telegraphindia.com.
  30. ^ "Supreme Court crisis: All not okay, democracy at stake, say four senior-most judges".
  31. ^ "Loya Case the Tipping Point, Four SC Judges Say Democracy Is in Danger". The Wire.
  32. ^ "Arun Mishra pulls out of Loya case". www.telegraphindia.com.
  33. ^ "Justice Chelameswar retires, says no regrets about press conference on CJI". 22 June 2018.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Dipak Misra
Chief Justice of India
3 October 2018–present