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Opposition's move to impeach CJI Dipak Misra gaining momentum

By Vikas

The opposition parties, especially the Congress and CPI (M), have been mulling for quite some time to move an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Yesterday's (April 19) Supreme Court order that no further probe is needed in the death of judge B H Loya has definitely not gone down well with the opposition and now reports say that intense discussions are being held behind the closed doors to oust CJI Misra.

Impeachment: The procedures and judges who have faced it in India

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra

The Congress' Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has sought a meeting with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, on Friday. The opposition has reportedly collected 67 signatures of RS members for the motion which it may submit to Naidu. Initially, it was the CPI(M) which mooted the idea and said it was in talks with various opposition leaders regarding the issue. Congress later decided to back the move.

Before meeting Naidu, the opposition will hold a meeting in which leaders from Communist Party of India (Marxist), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are expected to take part.

"Azad's office has called us for a meeting. We will discuss a range of issues," a Hindustan Times report quoted CPI leader D Raja as saying.

The HT reported quoted a Congress leader as saying that deliberations would be held to take forward the motion for the removal of the CJI.

On March 28, it was reported that the Congress has circulated a draft proposal for moving an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra to the other opposition parties. It was then reported that Leaders of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) discussed the possibility of moving an impeachment motion against Misra in Parliament.

[Congress circulates draft proposal to impeach CJI Dipak Mishra]

As per latest reports, The Trinamool Congress (TMC), a key opposition party, has not signed the motion. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had also backed out of the move.

How is a judge impeached in India?

A judge of the Supreme Court can be removed by an order of the President of India. The order can be issued following an address the Parliament which is supported by a special majority of each house- a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that house present and voting.

Impeachment process:

  • First, a removal motion has to be supported by 100 members in case of the Lok Sabha and 50 in the Rajya Sabha. The same is to be given to the Speaker of the House and it can be introduced in any of the two Houses.
  • It is up to the Speaker/Chairman to admit to rejecting the motion.
  • If admitted then a three-member committee is formed to investigate the charges. The Committee will comprise either the Chief Justice of India or Judge of the SC, Chief Justice of a High Court and an eminent jurist.
  • If the Committee finds the judge guilty then the House in which the motion was introduced can take up the matter.
  • Once the House passes the motion with a special majority, an address is presented to the President of India.
  • The President then passes an order to remove the judge.

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