Sealed and Delivered

Ranjan Gogoi’s gifts to the government

01 February, 2020


WHEN THE INDIAN EXPRESS GROUP picked Ranjan Gogoi—the second-most senior judge of the Supreme Court at the time—to deliver the third Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture, in July 2018, few progressives questioned the choice.

While introducing Gogoi, Raj Kamal Jha, the editor-in-chief of the Indian Express, showered praise upon the soon-to-be Chief Justice of India. He said that both journalists and members of the judiciary had to work “without fear or favour” to do their job well, which was how he believed Gogoi had conducted himself. 

Jha said that there could not be a more fitting tribute to Ramnath Goenka—the founder of the Indian Express. “One thick red line in the newsroom which we tell all our reporters is never impute a motive to a judgment or a judge,” Jha said. “I’m going to push that line and I’ll take some liberty here. Justice Gogoi’s work and his words reinforce the feeling, reinforce the perception that … the search for justice is without fear or favour. Be it from the high court in Guwahati to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Supreme Court or to a lawn on a winter morning in January, Justice Gogoi has always pushed to bridge the gap between what he calls constitutional idealism and constitutional realism.”