Impeachment Notice Against Chief Justice Drafted, To Be Submitted to Vice President on Monday
NEW DELHI: Members of Parliament from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party. Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) have signed a motion to initiate impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra. More signatures from the Trinamool Congress and the DMK are awaited before the motion is submitted, as per the well laid out rules, to Vice President Venkiah Naidu on Monday.
Sources said that the requisite number of signatures from 50 MPs are being obtained. NCP MP Majeed Memon confirmed that all members of his party have signed the petition.
Congress Rajya Sabha MPs gave a hint of this in the House when they revealed that such a motion was being prepared, and signatures collected.
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is being consulted by the political parties on the issue given his lonstanding experience told The Citizen, that the Vice President would have to accept the motion so long as it was signed by the requisite 50 MPs from the Rajya Sabha (100 from Lok Sabha) and the charges were specific to “misconduct”. He said that the requisite number of signatures, according to his information, have been collected.
The draft note, a copy of which is with The Citizen makes five charges against the Chief Justice. These are listed as:
1. The facts and circumstances relating to the Prasad Educational Trust case, show prima facie evidence suggesting that Chief Justice Dipak Misra may have been involved in the conspiracy of paying illegal gratification in the case, which at least warrants a thorough investigation.
2. That the Chief Justice Dipak Misra (allegedly) 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.
3. That the Chief Justice Dipak Misra appears to have antedated an administrative order dated 6th November 2017 which amounts to a serious act of forgery/fabrication.
4. That Chief Justice Dipak Misra (allegedly) acquired land when he was an advocate, by giving an affidavit that was ( reportedly) found to be false and (allegedly( 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.
5. That Chief Justice Dipak Misra has (allegedly) abused his administrative authority as master of roster to (allegedly) arbitrarily assign individual cases of particular advocates in politically sensitive cases, to select judges in order to achieve a predetermined outcome.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra is currently hearing petitions regarding Babri Masjid dispute, Aadhaar case and other constitutional bench cases before him. It remains to be seen whether the charges hold scrutiny, and whether Vice President Naidu admits the petition once it is submitted. Despite the claim it is still not clear whether the Opposition parties have acquired the required number of signatures but as a senior leader said, “the process is on and should be completed soon.”
It might be recalled that four senior Judges of the Supreme Court had on January 11, four top-level Supreme Court (SC) judges, had in a press conference, made complaints against Dipak Misra, on the grounds of administrative and judicial irregularity in the apex court. Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurien Joseph had said Misra was assigning important cases in an arbitrary manner to junior judges, ignoring these four senior judges. ‘India’s democracy is at stake’, the judges had said.