The Bar Council of India (BCI) hailed the nomination of former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha by President Ram Nath Kovind and said it is a bridge between the legislature and judiciary.
Justice (Retd) Gogoi took oath as a nominated member of Rajya Sabha on Thursday amid unprecedented scenes of opposition members shouting slogans and walking out of the House.
BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said in a statement, "We hail the novel initiative taken by the Hon'ble President of India in nominating Ranjan Gogoi, former Chief Justice of India, as a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha). We see it as a bridge between the legislature and judiciary."
"This, in fact, would be an ideal opportunity to portray the first-hand views of the judiciary before the lawmakers and vice versa."
Mishra said the criticism from some quarters, including former Supreme Court judges, was "unwarranted and premature".
"Therefore, such hue and cry, and reckless comments would be an attempt to malign the image of judiciary. There is no law or constitutional provision, which prohibits such a nomination. In the past also the Chief Justice of India and judges of Supreme Court were elected as members of Rajya Sabha after their retirement.
"But, there is a marked difference between their election and 'the nomination of Justice (Retd) Ranjan Gogoi'. Earlier, the judges after their retirement became political and contested election for the membership of Rajya Sabha with a party ticket. However, here, Justice (Retd) Gogoi has not joined any political party, he is the choice of the President of India and we appreciate this nomination, which in our opinion is the fittest from every point of view," he said in the statement.
It further stated that former judges and lawyers should refrain from criticising the nomination of Justice (retd.) Gogoi.
"We sincerely feel that the decision will prove to be a landmark and epoch decision, which will go a long way in the process of nation building. We thank the President of India as well as the government for having such a vision. There has been a debate in political circles and other quarters on the nomination of Gogoi, who retired in November last year as the CJI after serving for about 13 months," Mishra said.