How impeachment process of judges works

21 April, 2018, 13:18 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • A petitioner had raised the issue of politicians making public statements on impeachment of judges

In his Facebook post, Finance Minister Jaitley said that the Supreme Court judgment in Judge Loya death case exposes conspiracy to generate falsehood as propaganda in public and political space. The SC had ruled that death of judge Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case, was natural.

The impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra would turn out to be a joke as it would get defeated due to lack of numbers in both the House of Parliament, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party or AAP has said. A senior advocate himself, Kumar told Mirror, "The remedy can not be worse than the malaise. Nothing has changed." He further added, "Recent communications of two senior judges to the Chief Justice reveal that the Chief Justice has not asserted the independence of the judiciary in the face of interference by the executive".

The Congress feeling the heat in a number of cases and losing all-round credibility has gone ahead with the impeachment.

This is the first time that a notice of impeachment against a sitting CJI has been moved, even though previously there have been three cases of impeachment motions against apex court and high court judges in the last 25 years. The notice was not backed by rival parties like Trinamool, DMK and RJD. Several party leaders feel that the Congress leadership could have shot itself in the foot by dragging in the CJI. It sought the assistance of Attorney General K K Venugopal to deal with the issue and a plea which has sought laying of guidelines to regulate the procedure to be followed prior to initiating a motion for removing a judge of the top court. It is not clear if he is trying to put pressure on the CJI to help a friend like P Chidambaram or he has his own agenda.

The division within the Congress was clearly seen when senior Congress leader and former law minister Ashwani Kumar openly said that the "petition for impeachment of CJI should have been avoided". His indictment paved way for Parliament to impeach him. "I am sure that the minimum requirement for the motion to be entertained has been met and sure that chairman will take action", Nabi was quoted as saying by NDTV. But then why did the Congress wait for 2 weeks to meet RS chairman?

The notice has to be handed over either to the Speaker if it is from Lok Sabha MPs or to the Chairman if it is Rajya Sabha MPs.

Except for members of the crackteam, no other Congress leader was in the loop.

Former law minister Salman Khurshid, however, expressed reservations about the move. The decision was required to be taken after serious and well-thought discussion.

They belonged to the main opposition Congress Party, the Communist Party of India and Samajwadi Party - a powerful regional party in the key northern state of Uttar Pradesh - and four other parties. In the motion, they have accused that CJI of five counts of misusing authority.

Mr Sibal said, ' We wish this day had never come. The BJP feels to expect CJI to withdraw from his duties just because the Opposition has submitted a motion is stretching a little too far. The Lok Sabha dropped the impeachment proceedings because his resignation made the motion infructuous. Why should the CJI not attend to work "asks BJP's Sandeep Mahapatra". Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M.B. Lokur and Kurien Joseph had said that Justice Misra was assigning important cases in an arbitrary manner to junior judges, ignoring these four senior judges. The third and fourth reasons deal with, respectively, a seemingly unproven and minor allegation, and a land deal case that ended with the Chief Justice returning the plot of land in question.


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