A five-judge Constitution bench will on Tuesday hear a petition filed by two Congress MPs challenging the rejection of the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, PTI reported. Justice AK Sikri, sixth in seniority among Supreme Court judges, will head the bench.
It is not clear who formed the bench – Misra, being the chief justice and Master of the Roster, decides which cases judges hear, but the case directly involves him. None of the five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court are on the Constitution bench. Four of them had made allegations against Misra in a press conference in January.
Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and AK Goel are the other judges on the bench.
Earlier in the day, Congress MPs Pratap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik had filed the petition, alleging that Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the motion was politically motivated.
Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before Justice J Chelameshwar, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court. Chelameshwar had asked Sibal to return with the petition on Tuesday.
On April 20, Opposition parties had submitted a notice to Naidu to initiate impeachment proceedings against Misra under five listed grounds of misbehaviour. The motion was signed by 71 parliamentarians.
On April 23, Naidu had rejected the notice. He said he had considered each of the five allegations against Misra “individually as well as collectively” and concluded that the notice did not “deserve to be admitted”.