The Opposition parties on Friday moved an impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha seeking removal of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.
Seven Opposition parties, led by the Congress, have submitted the motion to initiate impeachment proceedings against the CJI.
The development came after a delegation of political parties met with Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu at his residence earlier in the day.
“We have moved an impeachment motion seeking the removal of CJI Dipak Misra under five listed grounds of misbehaviour. We have sought his removal under Article 217 read with article 124 (4) of the Constitution of India,” Leader of opposition in the Upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad told media.
The Congress leader further said that 64 sitting members of the House signed the motion, against the minimum of 50 required for a motion to be entertained by the chairman.
“71 MPs had signed the impeachment motion but as seven have retired the number is now 64. We have mentioned this in the letter. We have more than the minimum requirement needed to entertain the motion and we are sure that the Honourable Chairman will take action,” Azad said.
The opposition parties, in a letter to Naidu elaborated on their charges against the CJI.
Reading aloud the letter, senior congress leader and top court lawyer, Kapil Sibal said, “Since Chief Justice Dipak Misra was appointed to the high office, there have been situations when questions have been raised about the manner in which he has dealt with certain cases and taken certain administrative decisions.”
Referring to the press conference of the four senior judges of the top court on January, Sibal continued, “There have been internal rumblings resulting in open discord amongst judges in the Supreme Court.”
Sibal further recounted that one of the concerns expressed by the judges, in an open letter, was about attempts to unsettle through a judicial order the Memorandum of Procedure which stood settled.
“The judges had stated that for some time, the administration of the Supreme Court has not been in order and many things which are less than desirable have been happening and also tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice that certain things are not in order and that he must take remedial measures. They lamented that their efforts had failed and all four of them were convinced that unless the institution is preserved, democracy will not survive in this country. When asked, they expressed dissatisfaction at the manner in which Late Judge Loya’s case was being dealt with at the time,” the letter read.
Sibal further said that the judiciary’s independence is at threat, alluding to the functioning of the office of the CJI.