Several Opposition parties in the country are likely to introduce an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, reports said. On Tuesday, top Opposition leaders held a meeting to formulate their stand on the proposal, The Times of India quoted unidentified party officials as saying.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury has been lobbying to garner support for an impeachment motion after four senior judges of the Supreme Court – Jasti Chelameswar, Rajan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph – held an unprecedented press conference on January 12 to express concerns about the court’s functioning under Misra.
Most parties, including the Congress, have been tight-lipped about their role in the impeachment motion. The Nationalist Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) are two of the few who have gone on record to acknowledge their participation. Nationalist Congress Party leader DP Tripathi said he had signed draft petition, ANI reported.
An impeachment motion requires the signatures of at least 50 members in the Upper House or 100 MPs of the Lok Sabha and must be submitted to the presiding officer of either House, who will set up a committee to examine it. Only if the committee is convinced that the motion has merit will it be debated and voted on. To pass, the motion must be supported by the majority membership of the House and not less two-thirds of the members present and voting.
Here are eight articles on crisis in the Indian judiciary.
- What happened in the Supreme Court on Friday (and what is the MCI bribery case)?: In a heated proceedings on November 10, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said a bench would be formed to hear petitions seeking independent probe into the case.
- ‘The Supreme Court has ended as an institution’: 10 reads on November’s judicial drama: Allegations of impropriety and heated arguments gave legal commentators plenty to chew on this week.
- Full text: ‘The Chief Justice is only the first amongst the equals – nothing more or nothing less’: Four Supreme Court judges wrote this letter to the Chief Justice of India asking him to address a crisis, but they say it has remained unanswered.
- Chelameswar letter text: ‘Bonhomie between judiciary, government sounds death knell to democracy’: In a letter to Chief Justice Dipak Misra on March 21, Justice Chelameswar sought a full court sitting to discuss government interference in the judiciary
- Congress considering option of moving impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Dipak Misra: A senior lawyer who the Congress consulted said the party would back the four judges who revolted on Friday.
- The crisis in the Supreme Court will not just blow over. Staying silent is not the answer: The potential of the judges’ press conference to become the beginning of a deep introspection and structural reform seems to be withering away.
- It isn’t just the Supreme Court that’s divided – the Bar is, too: While most of lawyers’ associations wanted the matter to be resolved internally, the solutions suggested differed.
- As Chief Justice Dipak Misra is backed into a corner, the Indian judiciary’s authority is at stake: The Congress is moving to impeach him while Justice J Chelameswar wants a full court sitting to discuss the executive’s interference in judicial functioning.