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Impeachment motion moved for CJI for the first time in Indian History

After much delay and dilemmas, the unprecedented first step was taken for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by seven opposition parties including Congress. A petition was submitted with 71 signatures to the vice president Venkaiah Naidu. The opposition, while explaining the move and listing allegations, said that they never wished this day would arrive in Indian history as there is no record of impeachment of chief justice in this country in the past.

Economic Times reports that the charges against Dipak Misra includes his failure to act upon charges brought against him by the four senior judges, misuse and abuse of power while assigning sensitive cases to his chosen junior judges, judicial corruption relating to the scam of the Prasad Medical Trust, alleged misconduct associated with land acquisition when he was a lawyer, not maintaining the independence of the supreme court.

Mamata Banerjee, the leader of Trinamool Congress and Tamil Nadu’s opposition DMK, who was said to have favoured the impeachment of the CJI initially are reportedly not a part of it any longer. At least 50 MPs need to sign the motion in the Rajya Sabha in order to get the impeachment implemented. Otherwise, 100 MPs need to sign the proposal in Lok Sabha.

After the motion is moved, the Chair of the House needs to admit the same. However, it is totally up to it to decide if it should or should not admit the charges. In case it comes to the conclusion that there are enough reasons to remove the CJI, it would be transferred for discussion and vote to the House where the motion was first moved, if it is passed with a special majority then only it will go to the second house. After being approved by both the houses, the same is supposed to be presented to the president for the judge to pass an order in this regard.

On January 12th, a press conference was held where four senior-most judges declared that cases were arbitrarily allocated in the supreme court. Soon after that press conference, it was declared by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury that the party has been planning an impeachment motion in collaboration with other opposition parties against the CJI. The Congress leaders said that the notice was moved by them with a “very heavy heart”.

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