New Delhi: Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the first person from northeast to reach the top of the judiciary and credited for bringing the curtains down on the decades old politically and religiously sensitive Ayodhya land dispute, retired as the Chief Justice of India on Sunday. Justice Gogoi’s tenure as judge and as CJI was marked by some controversy, but that never came in his way of his judicial work that was reflected in the last few days when benches headed by him delivered some historic judgements.
He etched his name in the annals of history when a five-judge bench headed by him on 9 November brought an end to the Ayodhya land dispute, which dates back to even before the Supreme Court came into existence in 1950. However, his tenure in the apex court will also be remembered for being part of a presser by the ‘gang of four’ most senior judges in January last year which questioned the then CJI’s way of functioning.
Later at a public function, Justice Gogoi had remarked that “independent judges and noisy journalists are democracy’s first line of defence”.