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Opposition parties meet today for final call on CJI impeachment

The meeting holds significance as it comes a day after the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Misra dismissed petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
April 20, 2018 3:21:52 am
cji impeachment, dipak misra, opposition, supreme court, chief justice of india, congress, indian express Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar/Files)

Opposition parties led by the Congress will take a final call Friday on the proposal to move an impeachment motion in Parliament against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Sources in Congress said in all likelihood the decision would be in favour of submitting the impeachment motion.

The meeting holds significance as it comes a day after the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Misra dismissed petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad would meet leaders of Opposition parties to discuss the issue, sources said. Azad had played a central role in collecting signatures of MPs from several parties, including the Congress, CPM, CPI, NCP, SP and the BSP. According to the sources, over 60 MPs have already signed the petition.

As per the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, a complaint against a judge has to be made through a resolution either by 100 members of the Lok Sabha or 50 Rajya Sabha members.

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The talk of bringing an impeachment motion against the CJI was started by CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury in January, weeks after four seniormost judges of the SC addressed a press meet questioning the CJI’s conduct over allocation of cases. But, after initially moving fast on the issue, senior leaders of the Congress later said they wanted all Opposition parties on board.

According to sources, the plans were upset as Trinamool Congress and DMK refused to be part of the move. Even within the Congress, it is learnt, lawyer-politicians like Abhishek Singhvi had not signed the petition. The Congress ever since has been speaking in different voices on the proposal.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said earlier this month that the issue of bringing an impeachment motion against the CJI was closed now. However, a day later, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “We never spoke about taking up the impeachment motion.” Last week, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the issue was open.

Once the MPs submit the motion, the presiding officer can accept or reject it. If accepted, a three-member committee comprising two judges — one from SC and one Chief Justice of a HC if the complaint is against a HC Judge; and two SC judges if the complaint is against a sitting Judge of the apex court — and a jurist would be constituted to probe the complaint and determine if it is a case fit for initiating impeachment.

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