On March 27, top Congress leaders along with several opposition parties formally started the process of moving an impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra on several charges, including selectively assigning important cases to select judges.
This comes months after four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court addressed the media regarding the issue of judicial appointments.
Congress leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, have begun approaching leaders belonging to Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in the draft petition. Only a minimum of 50 MPs’ signatures is required to bring such an impeachment motion which is easily achievable in the opposition-dominated Rajya Sabha.
Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee told reporters that she has been approached by some opposition leaders in regard to the impeachment motion proposal. She said, “My party will go with the rest of the Opposition parties.”
YSR Congress M Rajamohan Reddy said, “Nobody has contacted us till now, we have only seen media reports. In any case, our leadership will decide if such a thing comes up.”
NCP MP Majeed Memon said, “The process initiated by various Opposition parties to bring an impeachment motion against the CJI is a serious matter. This comes in the wake of grave charges levelled by four senior judges of the Supreme Court against the functioning of CJI as well as the charges levelled by retiring judge Amitava Roy.”
As per reports, formal notice to move the motion could be filed within days, perhaps on Wednesday itself.
This move was initiated after it was concluded that CJI failed in positively responding and taking concrete remedial actions after the joint press conference in January by four senior judges of the apex court.
The Economic Times reported that according to sources, the charges levelled by the opposition parties against the CJI include his failure to act on issues raised by four senior judges, selectively assigning sensitive cases to select judges, alleged misconduct by CJI in acquiring land when he was a practising lawyer and allegedly damaging the credibility of institutional autonomy of the Supreme court, among others.
If admitted, it would be the first instance of a CJI facing an impeachment motion.