Opposition parties submit notice for CJI's impeachment to Rajya Sabha chairman


Sibal said the second charge relates to the Chief Justice having dealt on the administrative as well as on the judicial side with a writ petition which sought an investigation into the matter of Prasad Education Trust, in which he too was likely to fall within the scope of investigation.

Leaders of the Congress party and six other parties presented a notice to the chairman of Parliament's upper house seeking an inquiry into Chief Justice Deepak Misra's conduct, to be followed by a vote on impeachment.

Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee said impeachment can only be on grounds of misbehaviour.

It fructified a day after when a three-judge bench led by CJI Misra summarily dismissed pleas seeking a probe into the death of CBI judge BH Loya, who was dealing with the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which current BJP president Amit Shah was an accused and was later cleared.

The former Union Law minister trained his guns also on some petitioners who file PIL on issues. The Opposition has laid five charges against the CJI, including abuse of power. The judge had made a serious charge that democracy was in danger.

While the impeachment move is, to say the least, ill-advised, it could well boomerang on the Congress and the supporting opposition parties, which were seeing hopeful signs in the fact that by common perception, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sheen was wearing off after a long honeymoon with the electorate.

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The minimum requirement to move a notice for impeachment was 50 members in the Rajya Sabha.

Though it is unclear if the impeachment proceedings would succeed against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, any investigation in future itself is unlikely to be completed by the time he retires on October 2 this year. "Further, despite the orders of the ADM cancelling the allotment in 1985, the Chief Justice surrendered the land only in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court".

Though most of the Congress leaders favoured the impeachment notice, some criticised it vehemently. The cases had all lined up before the apex court with Sibal appearing for the judge and senior advocate Indira Jaising against him.

The Opposition had first discussed moving an impeachment motion against Justice Misra in January, after four senior Supreme Court judges revolted against the chief justice and held a press conference questioning his method of allocating cases. It is required that the motion is passed by a special two-third majority of MPs in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

The signatories to the unprecedented motion include 51 MPs of the Congress, 5 each of the NCP and CPI (M), 7 of Samajwadi Party and 1 of the CPI.

The Presiding Officer of the House will form a committee comprising of a Supreme Court judge, a High Court judge and an eminent jurist, which will examine the merit of the motion.