Congress-led Opposition submits notice for Chief Justice of India’s impeachment to Vice President

Congress-led Opposition submits notice for Chief Justice of India’s impeachment to Vice President

NEW DELHI: Opposition parties led by the Congress today met Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and handed over a notice for impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.nnAccording to sources, over 60 MPs of the Rajya Sabha belonging to seven political parties gave the notice for the impeachment against the CJI.nnThe MPs who signed the notice belong to the Congress, the NCP, the CPI-M and CPI, the SP and the BSP.nnThe leaders of these parties earlier met in Parliament and gave final shape to the notice for impeachment.nnAfter the meeting, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad confirmed that the leaders were moving the notice for impeachment against CJI.nnAmong those who attended the meeting in Parliament were Congress leaders Azad, Kapil Sibal and Randeep Surjewala, besides CPI’s D Raja and NCP’s Vandana Chavan.nnSources said the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, which were initially in favour of the impeachment against the CJI, are no longer part of it.nnThe impeachment notice comes a day after the Supreme Court rejected a bunch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge B H Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.nnThe SC judgement was delivered by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India.nnAn impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha has to be supported by at least 50 MPs of the Upper House, while the number of MPs supporting such a motion in the Lok Sabha is 100.nnOnce the notice for impeachment is submitted to the Rajya Sabha chairman, he will ascertain whether there is merit or ground for moving such a motion.nnIn case he finds merit, then he may form a committee to look into it, else he can reject it.nnIf moved, this will be the first time ever in the country’s history that an impeachment would be moved against the Chief Justice of India.nnWhat is the procedure to remove a Supreme Court Judge in India?nnThe procedure relating to the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court is regulated by the Judges Inquiry Act,1968, by the process of impeachment. There are two grounds for removal – proved misbehaviour or incapacity.nnA judge of the Supreme Court can be removed from his office by an order of the President. The President can issue the removal order after an address by the Parliament, supported by a special majority of each House of Parliament (that is, a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two thirds of the members of that house present and voting), has been presented to the President in the same session of Parliament for such a removal.nnThe step-wise process is:nA removal motion signed by 100 members (in case of Lok Sabha) or 50 members (in case of Rajya Sabha) is to be given to the Speaker/Chairman. (The removal motion can be introduced in any of the two Houses of Parliament).nnThe Speaker/Chairman may admit and reject the motion.nnIf it is admitted, then the Speaker/Chairman is to constitute a three-member committee to investigate into the charges. The Committee should consist of the Chief Justice or a judge of the Supreme Court, a chief justice of a high court and a distinguished jurist.nnIf the committee finds the judge to be guilty of the charges (misbehaviour or incapacity), the House in which the motion was introduced, can take up the consideration of the motion.nnOnce, the House in which removal motion was introduced passes it with special majority, it goes to the second House which also has to pass it with special majority.nnAfter the motion is passed by each House of the Parliament by special majority, an address is presented to the President for removal of the judge.nnFinally, the President passes an order removing the judge.nnList of judges who faced impeachment proceedingsnnSoumitra SennnJustice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court in 2011 avoided the ignominy of becoming the first judge to be impeached by Parliament by tendering his resignation.nnHe did so after the Rajya Sabha had passed the motion making him the first judge to have been impeached by the Upper House for misconduct. Justice Sen was found guilty of misappropriating Rs 33.23 lakh under his custody as a court-appointed receiver in the capacity as a lawyer, and misrepresenting facts before a Calcutta court in a 1983 case.nnP.D DinakarannnJustice P.D. Dinakaran, Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, against whom the Rajya Sabha Chairman had set up a judicial panel to look into allegations of corruption, resigned in July 2011, before impeachment proceedings could be initiated against him.nnCorruption, land-grab and abuse of judicial office were among the 16 charges framed against Justice Dinakaran.nnJ.B. PardiwalannIn 2015, a group of 58 Rajya Sabha MPs moved an impeachment notice against Justice J.B. Pardiwala of the Gujarat High Court for his ?objectionable remarks on the issue of reservation.?nnThe MPs, in their petition, said Justice Pardiwala?s comments on reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, while giving a ruling in a case against Patidar leader Hardik Patel, were objectionable. The specific objection seemed to be connected to the observations made by the judge in paragraph 62 of the judgment.nnHours after the impeachment notice was sent to Hamid Ansari, the judge removed the wording from his judgment.nnV. RamaswaminnJustice V. Ramaswami has the dubious distinction of being the first judge against whom impeachment proceedings were initiated. In 1993, the motion was brought up in Lok Sabha, but it failed to secure the required two-thirds majority.nnJustice Ramaswami was caught in a controversy for spending extravagantly on his official residence during his tenure as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana during 1990. The Supreme Court Bar Association even passed a resolution calling for his impeachment.nnSo far, no judge of the Supreme Court has been impeached. The only case where an impeachment motion was initiated and the Inquiry Committee found the judge guilty, was of Justice V Ramaswami of the Supreme Court (1991-1993). But, this motion was defeated in the Lok Sabha.nnWith Press Trust of India inputs

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