Advocate Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday filed a Right to Information application seeking details of how a five-judge Constitution bench was formed to hear the petition challenging the rejection of the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dipak Misra, reported Live Law. After the court refused to provide a copy of the order on Tuesday, two Congress MPs had withdrawn their petition challenging the rejection.
In his RTI query, Bhushan asked two questions: First, if an administrative order listed the petition before the Constitution bench, and second, who passed the administrative order. He has also sought a copy of the order.
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 petition 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.
The Constitution bench was headed by Justice AK Sikri, sixth in seniority among Supreme Court judges. Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and AK Goel were the other judges on the bench.
On April 20, Opposition parties had submitted a notice to Vice President Venkaiah 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”.