Nearly two months after the four senior-most judges accused the Chief Justice of India of putting the democracy at risk, the Congress-led opposition has begun a signature drive to initiate an impeachment motion against Dipak Misra.
Leaders of these parties, including the Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist), discussed the matter over the past week as they felt the CJI had failed to address the key issues raised by the four seniormost judges concerning the functioning of SC when they held an unprecedented joint press conference in January, people involved in the deliberations said.
NCP General Secretary DP Tripathi told ANI that a lot of opposition parties have signed the draft proposal for moving an impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra. “Many parties like Nationalist Congress Party, Left parties and I think TMC and Congress have also signed it,” he said.
To remove a judge, an impeachment motion should be initiated with the support of 50 MPs if it is introduced in the Rajya Sabha and 100 MPs if it is introduced in the Lok Sabha. The proposal can be submitted in either House. However, the Speaker has the right to admit or reject it. In case the motion is accepted, the Speaker constitutes a three-member committee to look into the charges made against the judge concerned and if found guilty the House can take up the matter for voting.
A judge can be removed only on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. In this case, the Congress and other opposition parties have taken up the issues raised by four senior Supreme Court judges in January.
Earlier in January, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurien Joseph held an unprecedented press conference to put out some administrative differences with Chief Justice Misra. They accused the CJI of assigning important cases in an arbitrary manner to preferred junior judges.