CJI impeachment motion ‘misused his position’, no other way to ‘protect Constitution

Seven opposition parties, led by the Indian National Congress, on Friday submitted a petition for the impeachment motion seeking removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on grounds of ‘misbehavior’. A delegation of the opposition parties met the Rajya Sabha chairman today to submit the said petition. The opposition cited five charges against the CJI to back its demand for his impeachment.

While the Congress, CPM, CPI, NCP, SP and BSP have signed the notice, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) were not among the signatories. According to sources, over 60 MPs have signed the petition till now.

All this requires a thorough investigation,” the letter read.

1.In November last year, the CJI-headed bench also dismissed a plea seeking an SIT probe into the case, overruling another top court bench’s order to conduct a hearing in the case on a later date. The much publicised court proceeding was even termed as a black day in the history of the Supreme Court.

2.Relating to the same, the letter stated, The second charge levelled by the Opposition relates to the Chief Justice having dealt on the administrative as well as on the judicial side with a writ petition which sought an investigation into the matter of Prasad Education Trust, in which he too was likely to fall within the scope of the investigation

3.The third charge levelled by the Opposition, amounts to antedating. “The practice in the Supreme Court is that when the CJI is in a Constitution Bench, and matters are to be listed, requests for listing are made before the first puisne judge,” the statement read. “On November 9, 2017, when a writ petition was mentioned before Justice Chelameswar at 10:30 AM since the CJI was sitting in a Constitution Bench, the same was directed to be listed later the same day. When the matter was taken up, a note dated November 6, 2017 was placed before the judges hearing the matter by an official of the Registry. This is the basis of the third charge alleging that the note of November 6 brought to the attention of Justice Chelameswar on November 9 as the matter taken up was antedated,” the statement read.

4.The opposition parties also raked up an old allegation against the CJI that he acquired public land through forgery of documents, “The fourth charge relates the Chief Justice having acquired land when he was an Advocate by giving an affidavit which was found to be false. Further, despite the orders of the ADM cancelling the allotment in 1985, the Chief Justice surrendered the land only in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court.”

5.The fifth charge levelled by the Opposition relates to the alleged abuse of exercise of power by the Chief Justice in choosing to send sensitive matters to particular benches by misusing his authority as Master of the Roster with the likely intent to influence the outcome, the statement read.

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