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CJI Gogoi's 'Right Hand Man' Justice Lokur Evades Questions on His Handling of Sensitive Matters

The retired judge evaded questions as to whether Justice Gogoi, who was in the panel to select the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, should have heard former CBI chief Alok Verma's petition.

PTI

Updated:January 24, 2019, 7:22 AM IST
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CJI Gogoi's 'Right Hand Man' Justice Lokur Evades Questions on His Handling of Sensitive Matters
File photo of Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur.

New Delhi: Justice M B Lokur, whom Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi once described as his right hand man, on Wednesday refused to be dragged into the controversy related to the handling of CBI matters and the politically sensitive Ayodhya land dispute by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.

Lokur, one of the four senior judges of the apex court who staged a virtual revolt against then CJI Dipak Misra by holding an unprecedented press conference on January 12, 2018, was speaking at an interaction here on "State of the Indian Judiciary" organised by legal news portal "The Leaflet".

The retired judge evaded questions as to whether Justice Gogoi, who was in the panel to select the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, should have heard former CBI chief Alok Verma's petition as on Tuesday, he refused to hear a plea challenging the appointment of the agency's interim director, M Nageswar Rao.

Justice Lokur said although the CJI heard and decided Verma's petition against his divesting of powers, that did not mean he should also hear the case against the acting CBI director as he was part of the selection panel to choose the central probe agency's chief.

"Are you suggesting that he (CJI) should have heard the case and taken a meeting tomorrow?," Justice Lokur asked.

When the questions about the CBI case involving Verma and Rao were repeated, Justice Lokur was visibly not happy.

He also skirted questions on the CJI being a part of the bench hearing the politically sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case, the Rafale matter etc. Justice Lokur requested all not to make a specific mention of any case, which was being heard either by the CJI or any other judges.

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