Judges To See Plea On Rejected Chief Justice Impeachment Shift

08 May, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • Cong goes to SC, challenging Naidu's rejection of CJI impeachment petition,…

After Vice President Venkaiah Naidu rejected the petition of Opposition MPs of the Rajya Sabha to initiate impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, 2 Congress MPs on Monday moved the Supreme Court regarding the impeachment of the CJI.

On 23 April, Naidu, Vice-President of India and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, had rejected the impeachment motion, holding it was "neither legal nor desirable or proper" to admit it.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was one of the signatories of the impeachment notice in the Rajya Sabha, mentioned the matter for an urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar, the senior-most after CJI Misra.

Allegations against Misra include involvement in a conspiracy to pay bribes in relation to a medical admission scam, dealing with a case in which he was likely to fall under the scope of an investigation, antedating an administrative order and abuse of administrative power in allocating cases in the Supreme Court.

The reason Sibal mentioned the case before Chelameswar's bench was made clear by Sibal himself, who told the court that since the case relates to CJI Misra, he couldn't mention it before the CJI to demand a date of hearing.

Bar and Bench reported that the constitution bench will consist of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and AK Goel.

In their joint petition, the MPs said that once a removal motion is signed by the requisite number of MPs the RS chairman has no option but to constitute an inquiry committee to investigate the charges.

The MPs, Pratap Singh Bajwa from Punjab and Amee Harshadray Yajnik from Gujarat, said they had challenged the decision because the removal motion was signed by more than 50 MPs as constitutionally required, and yet Naidu rejected it.

Both Justice Chelameswar and Justice Kaul went into a huddle and asked Sibal and Bhushan to come Tuesday so they could take a call on the issue. "This is the job of the Inquiry Committee", the petitioners contended. I have practised in this court for the last 45 years and the procedure is that whenever there is a petition against the CJI, it is mentioned before the bench headed by the seniormost SC judge. He said the CJI can not order for listing and hence the senior-most judge of the court must pass some orders as it was a matter of constitutional importance.

The petition called for a declaration that the Vice President as chairman of the Rajya Sabha can not exercise discretion and that he must set up an inquiry panel under the Judges' Inquiry Act, to probe the allegations against CJI Misra. This was the first time that an impeachment notice was filed against a sitting CJI.

Naidu had said that the notice lacked merit.


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