Opposition MPs submit impeachment notice against CJI

Explainer: All you need to know about the impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra

Seven opposition parties including the Congress party on Friday met Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and handed him a letter seeking impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

"Justice Dipak Misra should refrain from discharging official duties pending the impeachment motion", said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

Azad told the media that the motion was signed by 71 MPs from seven political parties.

Troubles for Misra, who is due to retire in October at age 65, started in January when four other Supreme Court judges launched a rare public revolt, criticizing his distribution of cases and judicial appointments.

He further said, "When SC judges themselves believe", the judiciary's independence is under threat, "alluding to the functioning of the CJI, should we stand still and do nothing".

"Impeachment is too serius a matter to be played with frivolously on the grounds of disagreement with any judgment or point of view of the court".

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, also a high-profile lawyer, write a Facebook post in which he termed the impeachment motion a "revenge petition".

Lawmakers from Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Muslim League had signed the notice.

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Keep in mind that the Congress had said a few days ago that the option to bring an impeachment motion against the Chief justice of India is still open.

The first charge in the removal motion is on the alleged medical admission scam in Prasad Education Trust case where the Congress-led parties pointed to "prima facie evidence suggesting that CJI Misra may have been involved in the conspiracy of paying illegal gratification in the case".

As per the Constitution, a judge can be removed only by an order of the President, based on a motion passed by both houses of Parliament. He said, "As such the motion on CJI Dipak Misra has upset people of Orissa".

They know this, but their entire aim is to put the CJI and the judiciary under pressure so that important cases are not decided against the Congress party.

Apparently, the Congress protagonists in the case have already factored that possibility and are said to be ready to challenge the Chairman's decision (of not accepting the motion) in court.

On the other hand, a senior leader of the BJP and the country's finance minister Arun Jaitley accused the opposition of trivializing the provision of impeachment, describing it as "a unsafe event". If the report records a finding of misbehaviour or incapacity, the motion for removal is taken up for consideration. This makes it quite clear that NDA constituents will oppose any move to consider the motion and some other parties, like BJD, have also said they will not support any censure of the CJI.

If moved, this will be the first time ever in the country's history that an impeachment would be moved against the Chief Justice of India.

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