ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Of Moral Truths and Judicial Integrity

Using moral truths to plead innocence undermines the integrity of the office of the CJI and the judiciary.

 

The recent controversy in which the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has been accused of sexual harassment by an ex-Supreme Court employee has problematised the relationship between public institutions and persons who hold or are aspiring to hold a public office. This relationship appears to be problematic because a public functionary like the CJI is attempting to inflate his individual stature in order to move it closer, if not higher, to the universal status of the public institutions. Arguably, the problem is evident in the claims made by the CJI, which function in ways similar to those that Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes. Both these personalities have made two kinds of moral claims that have different contexts. The Prime Minister, as reported in the media, has inflated his stature to the level of messiah of the nation by claiming that he possesses a distinct moral (masculine) power to protect the nation all by himself and that it is secure only in his hands. While, the CJI, having been accused of committing sexual harassment, has made claims seeking to equate the

accusations made on his person with the crisis facing judicial institutions. Is it then the personalities or is it public institutions that are more important in public life?

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Updated On : 15th May, 2019

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