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Impeachment of CJI: Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu likely to take time to act on motion

April 21, 2018

1524278459-2BAB8030-AADB-4FBF-AA41-A33C4A10D336New Delhi: After yesterday’s course of action, all is up to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu as he is the deciding party on whether to take the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra will be taken forward or dismiss it here itself. Seven opposition parties, spearheaded by Congress on Friday, in an unprecedented move, moved a motion to impeach CJI. Congress, a party that opposed such an opposed to such a move nearly 25 years ago when it was the ruling party, came together with six opposition parties and moved the notice.

But the history suggests that the motion has never seen a final and logical conclusion before. At first, the motion has to be scrutinised by a three-member panel which is headed by a sitting Supreme Court judge and then it reaches the Parliament. If that happens, CJI Misra would face removal. But, here is an interesting part. All the impeachment, going back in history, were made when Congress was ruling the central government. In 1993, the nation was in shock of the turn of events when an impeachment motion was moved against an apex court judge V Ramaswami on corruption charges after an inquiry commission filed its report.

It was the first time it had happened in an independent India. What is also intriguing was the Justice Ramaswami was defended by senior leader Kapil Sibal in the Lok Sabha. Sibal is the same man who is now spearheading the campaign for the impeachment of CJI Misra.

During the RV Narasimha Rao government, an impeachment motion did not succeed in Lok Sabha as there was not enough support of two-third members of the house, which is a necessity as per the 124(4) of the Constitution. An impeachment motion next came in 2011 against a Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen and alleged misrepresentation of facts and misappropriate of finance.

But before the motion was put to vote, Sen had resigned, some say sensing the outcome when the motion was passed in the upper house.

Sikkim High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran also face impeachment motion as the inquiry panel had found enough prima facie on charges of land grab, corruption, abuse of his powers. He was later transferred to Karnataka High Court. He also resigned before the impeachment process could take place.

The Opposition met Vice President M Venkaiah Nadu yesterday and gave him the signed notice with 66 MPs signatures of the Upper House. In the motion, they have accused that CJI of five counts of misusing authority. The motion came after the verdict was announced on a plea of an independent probe in Justice BH Loya death case.


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