Chief Justice of India H L Dattu on Sunday said he has responded to the Rajya Sabha chairman on a motion to impeach a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge, accused of sexually harassing a woman additional district and sessions judge.
"I have sent a reply," Justice Dattu told reporters in New Delhi, refusing to elaborate. He was asked whether he has nominated two members for the investigation committee to go into the allegations against Justice S K Gangele.
As per the provisions of the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968, the motion admitted by the Rajya Sabha chairman in March has been kept "pending" till "further action."
Under Section 3 (2) of the Act, if the motion is admitted, the Speaker (of Lok Sabha) or the chairman shall keep it pending and constitute an investigation committee consisting of three members. One of them will be chosen from among the Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court, one from among the Chief Justices of the High Courts and one will be a person who is in the opinion of the Speaker or the chairman a distinguished jurist.
The 58 MPs from the Upper House had last month submitted the motion to Hamid Ansari for initiating the impeachment process of Justice Gangele of the MP High Court for alleged sexual harassment of the woman judge in Gwalior.
Posted in the Gwalior bench, Justice Gangele is now serving in the principal bench in Jabalpur. The motion lists three "grounds of misconduct" for impeachment: "sexual harassment" of the woman judge; "victimisation" of the judge "for not submitting to his illegal and immoral demands", including, but not limited to, transferring her from Gwalior to Sidhi; and "misusing" his position as the administrative judge of the MP High Court to use the subordinate judiciary to victimise the judge.