The Vice President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu on Monday (April 23) rejected the impeachment motion moved by the opposition parties against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misha. The Congress had on Friday (April 20) said that they have moved an impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra with the support of 64 MPs of the opposition. The Congress leaders, along with the leaders of other opposition parties, had met Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu and told him about their decision.
The Congress had earlier said that they may move the Supreme Court if the Upper House chairman did not find merit in the notice for the impeachment.
The Congress also attacked the BJP for coming out in "defence" of the CJI and said the ruling party was compromising the position and office of the chief justice as the neutral arbitrator and head of the judiciary and the party was doing great a disservice to the independence of the judicial system.
OneIndia had reported that there was a likelihood that the Rajya Sabha chairman, Venkaiah Naidu may reject the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. The joint press conference of the opposition parties is a clear violation of Parliament customs and conventions.
Further, the fact that Justice Misra is retiring in 6 months is also another factor that would be taken into consideration as the impeachment proceedings could not be completed in that time.
The joint presser and making the contents of the impeachment notice public is a clear violation of the norms and this could lead to rejection of the notice. According to the handbook for members of the Rajya Sabha, no advance publicity should be given to any notice, which is to be taken up in the House till it is admitted by the Chairman. This assumes importance in the context of the "political overtones" surrounding the first-of-its-kind move against the CJI.
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.
The 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.