Bengaluru: Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi retires today (November 17). 

In his parting message to the media, he wrote, “Bitter truths must remain in memory.”

If one recalls his tenure as a justice of the Supreme Court, one certainly can’t ignore his rebellion against his predecessor Dipak Misra. 

In January 2018, as many as four judges, revolted against Dipak Misra for distributing cases in a partisan manner and even held a presser.  

Though all was certainly not well with the judges, Dipak Misra recommended Gogoi as his successor. 

Gogoi’s elevation as the topmost judge in the country indeed created a lot of noise, but his retirement, in start contrast, was dead opposite. 

In a tenure spanning just over 13 months as the CJI, he has passed as many as 47 judgements, and made some praiseworthy changes in the judiciary. 

And out of these 47 judgments, a few notable cases are the Ayodhya judgement, the Sabarimala judgement, the top court’s refusal to hand over the Rafale jet purchase deal to the CBI, bringing the CJI under the RTI. 

Interestingly, it was also under his leadership the SC took the decision of banning placement of photographs of public functionaries, except that of the President of India, the Prime Minister in government advertisements. 

He also brought in an administrative reform that pertained to the translation of the judgements in seven different languages. 

Though, all these historic verdicts can be seen as feathers in his cap, he certainly can’t escape the roving eyes of his critics. 

So what are the criticisms against him? 

The CJI faced allegations of sexual harassment by a junior court assistant. Though CJI sailed through the crisis, critics point out that the SC did not handle the issue deftly. 
Gogoi has also been accused of the same thing which he had accused his predecessor Dipak Misra of, that is the issue relating to the resistance of government’s interference in judicial matters. Critics point out that, in a few cases, the collegium toed the line of the government. 

In spite of the plusses and the minuses, Gogoi had an eventful career. Here’s wishing him an eventful retired life as well!