Judges To See Plea On Rejected Chief Justice Impeachment Shift

08 May, 2018, 01:10 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Congress MPs move SC against dismissal of impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India

A five-judge constitution bench was today constituted in the Supreme Court to hear the petition moved by two Congress MPs challenging the rejection of the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on May 8. Just Ice Sikri, who will venture to the seat, is number six in seniority.

The next four senior-most judges - who along with the Chief Justice make up the collegium - would also have found it hard to sit on judgment as they had complained at an unparalleled media conference in January about the way in which Justice Misra was allocating cases. However, Justice Chelameswar said that since it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who is the master of the roster, the case must be mentioned before him.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal sought that the matter be heard by the second most senior judge of the apex court, Chelameswar, as the issue directly concerned the senior-most judge, Misra. Sibal had said that this writ could not be mentioned anywhere else. The proof was a matter of inquiry and the chairman could not have shut the inquiry in contravention of Article 124 (4) and 124 (5) of the Constitution, which provide the procedure for removal of an SC judge or CJI.

"You come back to us tomorrow at 10.30am", Justice Chelameswar told Sibal.

Sibal "requested" the court to pass some orders on when the petition is to be heard and who can hear the matter.

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He said the CJI can not order for listing and hence the senior-most judge of the court must pass some orders as it was a matter of constitutional importance. Justices Bobde and also Ramana are equally in line for Chief Justice.

In their petition, the two MPs have said that the chairman couldn't have refused to admit the motion by stating that in his view the charges were not made out, since this effectively meant that he was going into the merits of the charges.

Sub-Section 1 of Section 3 of the Judges Inquiry Act says: "The Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman may, after consulting such persons, if any, as he thinks fit and after considering such materials, if any, as may be available to him, either admit the motion or refuse to admit the same".

"It is unusual that when the motion related to the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the chairman deemed it fit to consult legal luminaries, constitutional experts, former secretary generals, former law officers, Law Commission members and eminent jurists but had not thought it appropriate and fit to consult the judges of the Supreme Court of India".

The Congress in its petition said the decision to reject their impeachment motion by the Vice President reflected "serious infirmity".

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