Govt has nothing to do with Constitution Day celebrations: CJI
The ending of the day-long function for celebrating Constitution Day on Monday saw Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi emphasise that the event was organised completely by the Supreme Court and the government had nothing to to with it.
This clarification on the issue of organising the function came from Justice Gogoi after the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Vikas Singh said the government cannot be denied the "privilege" of holding the day long affair.
Justice Gogoi said that after assuming the office of the CJI, he had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that this year he was of the view that there should be only one function.
The CJI took the credit for the Supreme Court in organising the day long programme at an evening function at the apex court where Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present.
"I would like to make one thing clear for the record. The constitution day function today in the Vigyan Bhawan was not organised by the government. The government had nothing to do with it. It is the Supreme Court which organised it," he said.
"Last year there were three functions one by the government, one by the Law Commission and one by the Supreme Court. After I assumed office, I told the Prime Minister in one of the dinners that this year we must have one function.
"I came back to the bar and talked to the office bearers, there was a request that the end of the functions, joint functions, SCBA would have a separate function. I said yes why not you are the pioneers of this idea," Gogoi said at the Law Day function organised by the SCBA at the apex court complex.
Speaking before the CJI, Singh recalled the history of the Law Day which was the brainchild of noted jurist L M Singhvi and started in 1979.
He said the present government in 2015 decided to celebrate Law Day as also the Constitution Day to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb B R Ambedkar.
"As part of year long celebration, the government felt it should celebrate law day. Since then it has become a regular feature. So being the pioneer of having the law day, this is the real function but that is also a very important function from the government's point of view.
"The government which for the first time thought of doing so in 2015 and we can't deny that privilege to them . It is only for this reason that this has become a day long affair," Singh said.
He said that he also suggested that "we should have a morning session there (Vigyan Bhawan) and an evening session here (Supreme Court) which would be more befitting rather than curtailing this programme, so that importance of this function in this court is not diluted".
Singh said that due to the paucity of time, SCBA had to curtail the programme and speakers had to cut short their speeches.
(With inputs from agencies.)