CJI Dipak Misra’s Impeachment : Venkaiah Naidu rejects impeachment motion by the Opposition [Read Order]
Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu rejected the impeachment motion to impeach CJI Dipak Misra signed by 64 members of the Rajya Sabha on the ground of lack of substantial merit in it. Vice President Naidu made his decision after holding extensive consultation with top legal and constitutional experts including former Secretary General of both the House, former Law Officer , Law Commission, eminent Jurist, Attorney General and had detailed personal conversation with some of them on the matter.
Naidu considered the allegations individually and collectively in light of annexures annexed. In his order, Naidu said that he found that there was no proof available to back the five allegations against CJI Dipak Misra.
Naidu is of the opinion that the Hon’ble Members of Parliament who presented the petition are unsure of their own case. Page 1 of the petition uses phrases such as “the fact and circumstances relating to the Prasad Education Trust case show prime facie evidence suggesting that the CJI ‘may have been’ involved in a conspiracy of paying illegal gratification’. The motion further states with regard to “the CJI that he too was likely to fall within the scope of investigation”. The members of Parliament themselves indicate a mere suspicion, a conjecture or an assumption.
Naidu pointed out that the allegations made does not constitute ‘proof beyond reasonable ground’which is required to make out a case of “proved misbehaviour” under Article 124(4). He said he had weighed the evidence produced in the notice to assess if there is adequate, cogent, coherent evidence to produce further. On careful analysis and reflection there is virtually no concrete verifiable imputation. Either the allegations are within judicial domain and concern the internal judicial process or there are unsubstantial surmises and conjectures which hardly merit or necessitate further investigation.
Naidu further suggested that allocation of cases is an internal matter of the Supreme Court. “clearly this is an internal matter to be resolved by the Supreme Court itself”. The allegations emerging from the present case have a serious tendency of undermining the Independence of Judiciary which is the basic tenet of the Constitution of India. Various articles of the constitution seek to protect the independence of judiciary by providing appropriate safeguards against unwarranted interference either by Legislature or the Executive, with the Judges conditions of service and privileges incidental to the membership of the Constitutional Courts.
Read the Chairman’s Order below: