Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi terms Nagaland incident mistake, cautions against hasty decision on AFSPA

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi Wednesday termed as a “mistake” and “unfortunate” the deaths of 14 civilians in the Nagaland firing incident and said that hasty decisions are not needed concerning demands for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

A total of 15 people lost their lives in the incident, including 14 civilians and an Army personnel when an angry mob allegedly attacked an Assam Rifles camp in Nagaland and the incident has led to the growing chorus of demands seeking repeal of the AFSPA.

The 1958 law is an Act of Parliament that grants special powers to Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.

“The demand for repeal (of AFSPA) has been going for long. The incident (deaths in Nagaland) was a mistake. Accidents are unfortunate. Stringent laws may be required. Hasty decisions are not needed,” said the former CJI and Rajya Sabha MP.

“At times you feel the requirements, but in times of accident, you feel the need for repeal. Truth goes both ways,” he said.

The 46th CJI, the first from the northeast states, was speaking at the launch of his autography, ‘Justice for the Judge’ here and expressed his opinion on the issue in response to a question.

On the issue of him being nominated for Rajya Sabha, the former CJIs said, “You cannot calm me down with noises. Even if I have second thoughts of continuing, today I am strong. I will not bow down to unconstitutional voices.”

On the collegiums system of judges appointing judges, he said, “I had no difficulty with the process when I was there…We had a consensus after prolonged discussions. Every system has positive and negative. Everything has to be fine balanced.”

On the transfer of judges following the intelligence report, Justice Gogoi said the matter is political in which judges have no say and was with Parliament.