JUDG­MENT DAY

Over­com­ing all ap­pre­hen­sions, Chief Jus­tice Ran­jan Go­goi is all set to take charge. But will the Supreme Court re­main the same?

India Today - - INSIDE - By Da­mayanti Datta and Kaushik Deka

What to ex­pect as Ran­jan Go­goi gets set to take charge of the Supreme Court

TTHE ‘RA­DI­ANT LEAVES OF MEM­O­RIES’ FELL. De­spite the gen­tle poetry of the ti­tle, ex­cite­ment charged the balmy evening of Septem­ber 15 as Shanti Go­goi, 84, re­splen­dent in a white and gold mekhela-chadar, re­leased her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy—Hu­woronit Ron­gin Paat in As­samese—at the Gar­den Treat Ho­tel in Di­bru­garh, As­sam. Across the room, peo­ple nudged each other. “There he is,” they whis­pered. A man, who sat with for­mi­da­ble com­po­sure in the front row. “He has come all the way for his mother’s book launch”; “Just two days after be­com­ing the Chief Jus­tice of In­dia”; “North­east’s first”. The mother looked on proudly at the son she called “His Lord­ship”, in jest and in earnest. The sec­ond of her five chil­dren, Ran­jan Go­goi, cer­tainly added a colour­ful leaf in her book of life.

De­spite the enor­mous power they wield, judges do not lead colour­ful lives. They do their work qui­etly, away from the lime­light, and speak only through their judg­ments. Yet, on Oc­to­ber 3, when he takes charge as the 46th chief of the “world’s most pow­er­ful court”, Chief Jus­tice Go­goi is likely to be­come a judge with a dif­fer­ence. Who can for­get Jan­uary 12, when he, along with three of the se­nior­most judges of the apex court, staged an un­prece­dented press con­fer­ence to protest the in­ner work­ings of the Supreme Court? Nor can any­one deny the ap­pre­hen­sion that gripped the na­tion after the press con­fer­ence: will he, won’t he, be­come the next CJI? The ques­tion is: with the 64-year-old

COM­MAND­ING PRES­ENCE CJI Ran­jan Go­goi at a Supreme Court func­tion

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