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VENKAIAH NAIDU REJECTS OPPOSITION NOTICE FOR REMOVAL OF CJI
|THE NEWS

Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Monday has rejected the notice by six parties along with congress to remove Dipak Misra as the Chief Justice of India (CJI), stating it lacked substantial merit and the accusations are not admissible.

|WHO HAS COMMENCED THE PROCESS

About 64 Members of Parliament (MPs) of 7 political parties (i.e. NCP, the congress, the CPI, CPM, the BSP, the SP and the Muslim League) signed the notice for the elimination of the proceedings against the CJI.

|CONSTITUTION’S STATUTES ABOUT THE REMOVAL

> Article 124(4) of the Indian Constitution state that a judge of the Supreme Court, including the CJI can only be prosecuted or removed on the grounds of “incapacity or misbehavior”

> The proceeding that regulates the removal of a Supreme Court judge is The Judges (Inquiry) Act 1968 through the impeachment process.

> 50 members of Rajya Sabha or 100 members of Lok Sabha have to sign a removal motion that has to be submitted to the chairman of the upper house (i.e., Vice President) or the Speaker of the Lower House

> The Chairperson/Speaker can either accept or reject the motion once the notice of removal has been submitted in Upper or lower house of the Parliament.

> In case the motion is accepted, the Chairman has to form a committee of 3 members to look in to the details of the charges. 

The house can begin the contemplation of the motion only if the committee finds the charges to be admissible/ tenable.

The president passes the final judgment for the removal of the judge considering the “special majority “with which the motion is passed by each House of Parliament.

|IS THIS THE FIRST PHENOMENON?

There were cases of removal against 6 judges in past. However, it is for the first time, a motion has been filed against a CJI. 

Although none of the 6 judges were formally removed, two judges viz. Soumitra Sen and  P D Dinakaran resigned before they could be removed.

|CHARGES AGAINST THE CJI IN PETITION

Prasad Education Trust case:  One of the charges in the petition spotlighted on the approach that the CJI followed to deal with the bribery allegation in Prasad Education Trust case.

 Knowingly listing the petition before himself: The CJI had allegedly listed the petition against the Prasad Education Trust before himself, even when he was heading the Constitution bench, which is against the convention.

Backdating: Backdating (Ante-dating) of an order for listing of a petition related to Prasad Education Trust case investigation

Misdemeanor utilization of power: To manipulate the outcome of the case, CJI allocated sensitive matters to specific benches with the influence of his authority.

Falsifying document to acquire land: CJI allegedly obtained a land by using a forged affidavit while he was an advocate. However, the land was surrendered after he was promoted to the Supreme Court.

|WHAT CHAIRMAN SAID ON THE DRAFT

M Venkaiah Naidu as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha commenced the process of discussion of the impeachment notice against CJI Dipak Mishra and consulted with the constitutional and legal experts, including Attorney General KK Venugopal.

He stated that the notice lacks substantial merit and it is neither tenable nor admissible. Hence “I refuse to admit notice of motion,” said Naidu.  He added that there is no plausible or admissible information on ‘misbehavior’ or ‘incapacity’ in the draft.

The MPs of the seven parties who have signed the notice are unsure about the charges and they did the mistake of leaking the details of their notice to the press, which is against the parliamentary customs.

Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President through a letter said that “wrong judgment on the expression of misbehavior or incapacity is a conduct that can erode the faith and confidence of the public at large in such constitutional office”

|OPPOSITION’S STANDPOINT

As per the standpoint of the opposition party, Naidu’s order is illegitimate, unprecedented, quick and ill-advised, which is why there will be no importance of  the Constitution & Judges (Inquiry) Act.

They want to challenge the order in the top court and the CJI should stay off the petition

|WHAT’S NEXT?

Taking into consideration the allegations on CJI have a significant propensity of undermining the self-reliance of Judiciary, which is the essential tenet of the Indian Constitution. It really is neither legal nor attractive to acknowledge the notice of action on these grounds. CJI Misra was appointed last August and is because of retiring in October. However, challenging the Chairman’s order can be an option open to the oppositions and because the Chairman’s order concerns the CJI if challenged in the top court, chances are to be heard by judges who are next in-line in conditions of seniority and experience.

 

 

 

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