GUWAHATI: Upamanyu Hazarika, a senior advocate from Assam, has eviscerated West Bengal Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra for raking up what he has termed as "old and baseless allegations" against former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi from the platform of the Parliament.
Moitra, a Trinamool Congress MP who represents Krishnanagar in the lower house, stirred out controversy when she took potshots at Gogoi without naming him. "The sacred cow that was the judiciary is no longer sacred. It stopped being sacred the day a sitting chief justice of this country was accused of sexual harassment, presided over his own trial, cleared himself and then proceeded to accept a nomination to the Upper House in three months of retirement complete with Z-plus security cover," Moitra said.
Issuing a response, Hazarika said that Moitra's allegation "bespeaks not only of her cowardice but of a pernicious agenda. "Ms Moitra cleverly and with malice omits the fact that a three-judge committee of the Supreme Court undertook an extensive inquiry into the very same allegation and exonerated Justice Gogoi," Hazarika said.
Enumerating the various achievements of Gogoi during his tenure, Hazarika said that Chief Justice Gogoi during his tenure acted decisively to hear and decide the decades-long-pending litigation Ayodhya dispute. "The Supreme Court rendered a unanimous verdict putting a quietus to one of the most emotive and contentious issues in the country," he said.
In his communique, Hazarika went on to claim that a "significant section including the likes of Mahua Moitra were hellbent on keeping the dispute alive because it suited their personal politics regardless of the national interest. Being unable to question the verdict this section now seeks to target Justice Gogoi over a non-issue."
Moitra also seeks to fan the flame of a linguistic rift between the Assamese and the Bengalis, ahead of the West Bengal election, by targeting Justice Gogoi, the first Chief Justice of India from Assam, he further added.
"It needs to be highlighted that Chief Justice Gogoi during his tenure played an instrumental role in elevating to the Supreme Court 14 Judges, the largest number of judges during the tenure of any Chief Justice and elevating/ appointing 28 Chief Justices to different High Courts, which in itself is also a record," advocate Hazarika further pointed out.
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