Providing a glimpse into the professional relationship he enjoyed with outgoing Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra, the incoming top judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi remarked that he had had differences with Misra till the very last day of his tenure as CJI.
“I have had healthy differences with him till the very last day,” admitted Justice Gogoi at a farewell event for Justice Misra at the Indian Habitat Centre in New Delhi on Sunday. The farewell was organised by Supreme Court’s Advocate on Records Association. “But I don’t think this is the right time to go into specific judgments,” added the new Chief Justice, as he addressed a distinguished gathering that included city’s top lawyers and police officers among other guests.
Gogoi was among the four judges who had called a press conference on January 12 to make public reservations about the assigning of cases under then CJI Misra, an event that had indicated towards fractures within the top ranks of the judiciary. Gogoi cheekily remarked in his farewell address that Misra was the only person he knew who played cricket with a tennis ball. “He needs six wicket-keepers when he is playing cricket,” remarked Gogoi.
He went on to praise the literary prowess of Misra, which he said was reflected in the judgements he had delivered at the helm of the Indian judiciary.”He had written a 192-word sentence in one of his judgements,” Gogoi recalled, referring to a really long sentence that Justice Misra had written in a verdict delivered in February 2015.
Reacting to Gogoi’s remarks, Justice Misra said during his speech that “healthy differences always existed between friends.” “If the differences are unhealthy, then you are not friends. But healthy differences are a signature of a good friendship,” he added.