Justice Gogoi’s tenure in the apex court will be best remembered for heading the five-judge Constitution Bench that delivered a unanimous verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case as well as the time he had addressed an unprecedented press conference along with three other brother judges in 2018.
Sworn on October 3, 2018, as the 46th Chief Justice of India, Justice Gogoi also headed a bench which, by a 3:2 majority verdict, referred the pleas seeking review of the apex court’s historic 2018 judgement allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple.
Justice Gogoi was also part of the bench that twice dismissed pleas seeking probe into the Rafale deal. His bench also warned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing certain remarks made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the apex court case and asked him to be more careful in the future.
Earlier this year, he had also faced allegations of sexual harassment. In her 28-page original complaint, the woman had alleged that on October 10 and October 11, 2018, the CJI had made sexual advances in his home office, where she was posted, and touched her inappropriately. Soon after the allegations were made public, a bench led by CJI Gogoi had issued a signed statement saying the allegations were part of a “conspiracy”. An in-house committee had given a clean chit to Gogoi.
Justice Gogoi is also known for his no-nonsense approach, boldness and fearlessness, and also leading a bench which monitored and ensured that NRC exercise in Assam, his native state, is completed within the set timeframe.