CJI DY Chandrachud today remarked that once a judge demits office, he is entitled to have any opinion.
This comment came to be made by the CJI while responding to a submission made by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal during the Article 370 hearing, wherein he referred to former CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s statement made in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.
“One of the judges has also said that basic structure is questionable..”, Sibal told the five judge Constitution Bench.
Hearing this, the CJI was quick to reply and say, “You should mention if they are a sitting judge..once they demit office, they can have any opinions..”
Yesterday, former CJI Gogoi, while expressing his support for the Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 which seeks to replace the Delhi Services Ordinance, had said, that the doctrine of basic structure has a very debatable jurisprudential basis.
Rajya Sabha MP Gogoi further added that the Bill did not overreach the Supreme Court judgement on services in Delhi given that Article 239AA(3)(b) of the Indian Constitution gives the parliament the power to frame laws on State subjects in Delhi except three subjects.
Notably, before introduction of this bill, the Central Government had filed a plea before the Supreme Court challenging its decision whereby it held that the Delhi Government (GNCTD) will have control over administration of services, except in those areas which are specifically excluded from its legislative domain.
Centre had thus argued that despite the insertion of Article 239AA in the Constitution, the NCT of Delhi is not elevated to the status of a State and it remains to be a Union Territory. It has been further argued that the Supreme Court’s judgement effectively elevates Delhi’s status to a full-fledged state by giving its legislative assembly the legislative competence over all entries in List II and List III.