Seven Opposition parties, led by the Congress, launched an unprecedented move to impeach Chief Justice of India (CJI) Deepak Misra, accusing him of corruption, misusing his authority and failing to protect the independence of the judiciary.
The opposition move came a day after a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Misra rejected a PIL for a SIT probe into the death of CBI court judge B.H. Loya, who was conducting a trial in the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in Gujarat in which now BJP President Amit Shah was an accused.
Seven Opposition parties, led by the Congress accusing CJI Deepak Misra of corruption, misusing his authority and failing to protect the independence of the judiciary. Party leaders met vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and handed over the notice of impeachment bearing signatures of 64 MPs and seven former MPs, who recently retired. This comes a day after a Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Misra rejected a bunch of petitions on Judge Loya case.
Opposition’s allegation against Chief Justice of India
The first allegation relates to a CBI probe into a medical college scam in Uttar Pradesh involving the Prasad Education Trust. The investigating agency had filed a case against a retired judge of the Orissa High Court and five others in the alleged corruption case. The CBI had sought permission to lodge an FIR against a sitting judge of the Allahabad high court.
Listing down its second allegation, the opposition says that chief justice Dipak Misra dealt, on the administrative as well as judicial side, with a writ petition which sought investigation into a matter in which he too was likely to fall within the scope of investigation since he had presided over every bench which had dealt with the case and passed orders in the case of Prasad Educational Trust, and thus violated the first principle of the Code of Conduct for judges.
Third allegation is that chief justice Dipak Misra appears to have antedated an administrative order dated 6 November 2017, which amounts to a serious act of forgery/fabrication.
Fourth allegation is that chief justice Dipak Misra acquired land when he was an advocate, by giving an affidavit that was found to be false and, despite the orders of the ADM cancelling the allotment in 1985, surrendered the said land only in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court.
Fifth reason is that chief justice Dipak Misra has abused his administrative authority as the master of roster to arbitrarily assign individual cases of particular advocates in politically sensitive cases to select judges in order to achieve a predetermined outcome.
They also charged him with “abuse of exercise of power” in choosing to send “sensitive matters to particular benches by misusing his authority as Master of the Roster with the likely intent to influence the outcome”. One charge dates back to 1984 when the CJI was an advocate. The charge is that he acquired a piece of government land by giving a “false affidavit”.
An impeachment will need the support of a majority of the total membership of each House that’s not less than twothirds of the members of that House present and voting under Article 124 (4), experts said. The Opposition said the Rajya Sabha chairman can’t decide on the admissibility of the motion without a thorough examination, which includes a procedural perusal by experts of the merits of the accusations.
While a minimum 50 signatures are required for such a motion, the notice had 71. However, with seven having just retired, the number of sitting MPs that have signed is 64. The parties don’t have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and are outnumbered by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha, hence the motion is likely to die on the floor of Parliament, assuming it gets to that stage.
Share your opinion about the matter in the comments section and stay connected with us for more updates!