Former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju continued his attack on Former Chief Justice of India, Rajan Gogoi on Thursday.
Responding to a tweet put out by Prashant Bhushan on Gogoi that was published in Scroll, Katju tweeted, “When Gogoi, d sexual pervert & sold out rascal, speaks of judicial independence it is like a prostitute advocating chastity (sic).
Notably, this isn’t the first time Katju has hit out at Gogoi. In March this year, Katju lashed out at Gogoi after the latter announced his retirement. “I have been a lawyer for 20 yrs and a judge for another 20. I hv known many good judges & many bad judges. But I have never known any judge in the Indian judiciary as shameless & disgraceful as this sexual pervert Ranjan Gogoi. There was hardly any vice which was not in this man,” Katju had tweeted.
Even in the beginning of the year, Katju wrote a post questioning the Indian judiciary. “At last the woman employee who was sexually molested by CJI Gogoi and victimized along with her family has been reinstated.There was no vice which was not in Ranjan Gogoi. And yet this rascal and rogue rose to become CJI. It speaks volumes about our judiciary. Hari Om (sic)”
Katju’s enmity towards Gogoi goes back to 2016 when he was called to the Supreme Court for writing a blog on the rape and murder of Soumya, a 23-year-old woman from Manjakkad near Shornur, while she was travelling in a passenger train from Ernakulam to Shornur on 1 February 2011. In his blog, Katju said that the Supreme Court must review its judgment in Soumya case, in which the apex court found accused Govindachamy not guilty of murder but only guilty of rape"This is not a just punishment at all and it is hard for the public in Kerala to digest.”
The Supreme Court then summoned Katju where a bench that comprised Justice Gogoi and two others questioned him. It is at this point that Katju probably snapped.
The Supreme Court issued notice of contempt to its former judge Markandey Katju on Friday for using "intemperate" language and "scandalising" judiciary as he appeared before a bench and had heated exchanges with it. A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi, PC Pant and UU Lalit said Katju's statement in a recent blog constituted a serious assault on judges and not on the judgement and therefore the notice of contempt to him.
Katju protested against the decision saying the judges were threatening him and it was not proper for them to behave in such manner with a former judge of the apex court. "I am not scared of it. Don't give me threat," the former judge remarked as Justice Gogoi pronounced the order in a surcharged atmosphere. Justice Katju also kept saying he is not scared of SC and addressed Justice Gogoi as Mr Gogoi several times and reminded that he was junior to him (Katju) in SC.
Justice Gogoi warned him saying "don't provoke us any more" to which Katju said "you are provoking me by this type of threat. You requested me to come here and assist you." At this point, Justice Gogoi asked, "is there somebody to escort Justice Katju (out)". Katju replied, "What is this behaviour. On your request I came here. Is this the way I am to be treated.
The issue of contempt was raised after the bench had dismissed the review petitions filed by Kerala government and mother of Soumya challenging the acquittal of the convict of the murder charge. Justice Katju was summoned as he in his blog had claimed that there was error in the judgement acquitting the accused for the murder and he was asked to assist the bench during the hearing of the review petition.
Addressing Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Katju said a Supreme Court judge should not behave like this and it was like a threat to him.