In January, four top Supreme Court judges went public with complaints against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and said that democracy in India is at stake. They alleged that sensitive cases were assigned to handpicked judges and the most-senior judges were ignored. Based on their allegations, the opposition is circulating a petition for to bring an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majid Memon has said that three Congress leaders and five NCP leaders have signed the petition.
To move an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India, signatures of 100 MPs are needed in Lok Sabha. In Rajya Sabha, signatures of 50 members are required.
Here's the 5-Step procedure to impeach the Chief Justice of India:
The Constitution of India lays down the procedure for removal of a judge of Supreme Court which is applicable to the Chief Justice as well. Once appointed, the Chief Justice remains in the office until the age of 65 years. He/She can be removed only through a process of impeachment by the Parliament. The Constitution, armed with the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 and the Judges (Inquiry) Rules, 1969 provides for the entire process of Impeachment. A judge can be removed on the ground of "proved misbehavior or incapacity".
As per Article 124(4) of the Constitution of India, "A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity."
Step 1: A notice of motion is issued by 100 MPs from the Lok Sabha or 50 MPs from the Rajya Sabha. This motion for removal can be moved in either House.
Step 2: The motion can either be accepted or rejected by the Speaker/Chairman of the House.
If the motion is admitted, the Speaker or the Chairman of the House forms a three-member committee comprising a senior judge of the Supreme Court, a judge of the High Court and a distinguished jurist to investigate the charges. This committee would look into the alleged charges levelled against the Chief Justice of India.
Step 4: Once it is passed, it is taken up in the next House where again it needs to be passed by a special majority.
Step 5: After the motion is passed through both the Houses with two-third majority, the President of India is approached to remove the Chief Justice of India.