Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Removal of CJI

On 23/4/2018 Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu rejected notice for the removal of CJI Dipak Misra. Many in Congress and some opposition parties are unhappy about it and want to go to Supreme Court. CJI is the master of roster and he will decide whether to admit the petition or not.
Many talk of impeachment of CJI. They are wrong. Constitution mentions only impeachment of President. Others are removed or sacked.
The notice was poorly drafted and the plan for removal was haphazardly executed. Phrases like “appears to have antedated”, “he too was likely”, “may have been” meant there was no certainty about the charges. The idea of removal is said to have originated with Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M) and Congress leaders were divided about removal of CJI. Congress took the lead and took signatures. AAP, AIADMK, BJD, DMK, TMC, TDP, TRS and some other parties did not support removal. The term of some Rajya Sabha MPs who signed the notice ended. Manmohan Singh did not sign the petition and it was said Congress had given up on removal.
Then came verdict in Judge B. H. Loya case which was not to the liking of Congress. It became active again and submitted the notice on 20/4/2018. It held a press conference about it. Venkaiah Naidu had programmes in Telangana till 24/4/2018. He returned on 22/4/2018 to consult Constitutional experts. Next day morning he rejected the notice.
Dipak Misra’s last working day is 2/10/2018. The process for removal is long, Congress and allies do not have numbers to remove him, and he would have retired by the time the matter for removal came up before Rajya Sabha. The idea was to embarrass CJI and BJP.
Venkaiah Naidu could have taken time to decide on the notice. He acted swiftly. He said it was to end needless speculation following a spate of statements in the press that seem to vitiate the atmosphere.
Judges Inquiry Act gives power to Chairman to either admit the motion or refuse to admit the same. Venkaiah Naidu acted legally and constitutionally. Opposition MPs are wrong to say his act is illegal and unconstitutional and there has not been application of mind.
Former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash Kashyap said Venkaiah Naidu rightly rejected removal notice. There are no prima facie cases against CJI. Opposition made wild and unsubstantiated allegations against CJI. Venkaiah Naidu has consulted Subhash Kashyap among others.

Updated: April 24, 2018 — 11:24 am

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