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Plea In Supreme Court Challenges Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi's Rajay Sabha Membership

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
29 Aug 2021 6:21 AM GMT
Plea In Supreme Court Challenges Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogois Rajay Sabha Membership
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A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the nomination of former CJI Ranjan Gogoi as a Member of Parliament (Council of States) in the Upper House. The plea seeks issuance of a writ of quo – warranto against the respondent (Gogoi) calling upon him to show by what authority, qualification and a title, he holds the membership by nomination under Article 80 (1)...

A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the nomination of former CJI Ranjan Gogoi as a Member of Parliament (Council of States) in the Upper House.

The plea seeks issuance of a writ of quo – warranto against the respondent (Gogoi) calling upon him to show by what authority, qualification and a title, he holds the membership by nomination under Article 80 (1) (a) read with (3) of the Constitution and after an inquiry, dislodge him from the membership with or without the retrospective effect.

It is further sought that the notification regarding Gogoi's nomination as published in the Official Gazette of India – Extraordinary- Part II – Section 3 – Sub section (ii) on 16th March 2020 and notification published in pursuance of section 71 of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 in the Official Gazette of India – Extraordinary – Part II – Section 3 Sub section (ii) may be annulled.

Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi is a nominated Member of Parliament (Council of States) in the Upper House. He was nominated by the President of India on 16th March 2020 by a notification published in Official Gazette of India.

Gogoi served as the 46th Chief Justice of India post his appointment in October, 2018. He retired on November 17, 2019.

The petition filed by social worker and lawyer Satish S. Kambiye submits that as per the biodata of the respondent available on the website of the Parliament – Council of States, he hasn't authored any book nor there is any publication to his credit, and he has NIL contribution towards Social and Cultural Activities, Literary, Artistic and Scientific Accomplishments and other Special Interests.

At least, no information of the respondent has been given about his special knowledge or practical experience towards the literature, science, art and social service on the website.

It is the case of the petitioner that the President has a power to nominate twelve members to the Council of States under Article 80 (1) (a) in accordance with Article 80 (3) which provides that the members to be nominated by the President shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service.

In this backdrop, the petition hails the nomination to be erroneous and illegal, since this condition precedent for nomination under Article 80 (1) (a) read with (3) of the Constitution has not been fulfilled by the respondent.

Furthermore, following the Respondent's nomination, the petitioner had applied to the Central Public Information Officer, President of India, New Delhi on June 12, 2020 under section 6 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 for obtaining information relating to the respondent's nomination.

The RTI application was transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs, CS Division, Government of India, New Delhi for their consideration, the plea adds.

It is submitted that the reply received by the petitioner on July 24 has no details of the material that the President relied on to judge or ascertain the respondent's qualification.

Prima facie, the respondent doesn't have any special knowledge or practical experience with respect to the matters of literature, science, art and social service and hence, he is not qualified to be nominated as a member of the Council of States under Article 80 (1) (a) read with (3) of the constitution. He has usurped the post/nomination. Therefore, it is imperative that he is ousted from the membership of the Council of states – Parliament.

The plea also relies on cases where the Supreme Court held that a writ of quo warranto can be issued when the appointment is contrary to statutory rules.

It is thus sought that an pass ad-interim order may be passed in the nature of stay order for suspending the force, effect, and operation of the notification published in the Official Gazette of India notifying the nomination made by the President .

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