5 charges against CJI Dipak Misra in the Congress’ notice of impeachment
Seven opposition parties led by the Congress on Friday submitted to vice president and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu a notice seeking the impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
At a press conference, Congress leaders said the parties had to move the notice with a “very heavy heart” since Justice Misra had not “asserted the independence of judiciary in the face of interference by the executive”. They said they had the support of more than 60 Rajya Sabha members. Such notices require the signatures of at least 50 members of a House.
Here are the five charges against Dipak Misra in the notice of impeachment:
1. The first charge relates to an alleged bribery scandal involving Lucknow-based Prasad Education Trust, which ran a medical college. It was an “act of misbehaviour” on part of the CJI , the notice says, to deny permission to prosecute Allahabad HC judge Narayan Shukla. The Allahabad judge was alleged to have been bribed to deliver a favourable judgement to PET, which the union government had barred from admitting students. The trust had moved the Allahabad court and the SC, where the CJI also heard it. Meanwhile, CBI was investigating the alleged bribery scandal.
2. The second charge is that the CJI dealt administratively and judicially with a writ petition “in which he too was likely to fall within the scope of investigation”. The notice lists the November 9 incident when Justice Chelameswar was told (by the CJI) not to hear a matter since it was with a different bench. This was a petition related to the CBI investigation into PET.
3. The third charge is that the letter by which Chelameswar was informed of the case allotment was “antedated”. It was dated November 6.
4. The fourth charge is that the Chief Justice acquired land when he was an advocate by giving a false affidavit. “The Chief Justice surrendered the land only in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court” despite the allotment being cancelled years earlier, the notice says.
5. The fifth charge relates to the “abuse of exercise of power” by the Chief Justice in choosing to send sensitive matters to particular benches by “misusing his authority as Master of the Roster with the likely intent to influence the outcome.”