CJI Dipak Misra impeachment: The five charges and 10 observations rejecting them

On Friday seven opposition parties submitted to vice president M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman of Rajya Sabha, a notice for a motion of impeachment against CJI Deepak Misra. On Monday Naidu refused to admit the notice of motion.

These are the 5 charges mentioned in the notice:

1. In Prasad Education trust case, “prima facie evidence suggesting that CJ Dipak Misra may have been involved in the conspiracy of paying illegal gratification in the case”.

2. CJ Misra “dealt on the administrative as well as judicial side, with a writ petition which sought an investigation into a matter in which he too was likely to fall within the scope of investigation since he had presided over every bench which had dealt with this case” which ”violated the first principle of the Code of Conduct for judges”

3. CJ Misra “…appears to have antedated an administrative order dated 6th November 2017 which amounts to a serious act of forgery/fabrication”

4. CJ Misra “acquired land while he was an advocate, by giving an affidavit that was found to be false and despite the orders of the ADM cancelling the allotment in 1985, surrendered the said land only in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court”

5. CJ Dipak Misra “abused his administrative authority as master of roster to arbitrarily assign individual cases of particular advocates in important politically sensitive cases, to select judges in order to achieve a predetermined outcome”

Ten observations made by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu while rejecting it

1. Since the notice has been signed by 64 members, it meets the requirement under Section 3(1)(b) of the Judges Inquiry Act

2. At the stage of admission “I have to apply a test that of every statement stated in the petition is believed to be true, would it still amount to a case of ‘proved misbehaviour’ within the scope of Article 124 (4) of the Constitution of India.”

3. “The Hon’ble MPs who have presented the petition are unsure of their own case”, using “facts and circumstances” at one instance and then phrases like “may have been”, “appears to have antedated” and “he too was likely” elsewhere in the notice. “…the phrases used by the Hon’ble members of Parliament themselves indicate a mere suspicion, a conjecture or an assumption”

4. This is an “internal matter to be resolved by the Supreme Court itself. Going through the five allegations mentioned in the Notice, I am of the view that they are neither tenable nor admissible”

5. The allegations “have a serious tendency of undermining the independence of judiciary which is the basic tenet of the Constitution of India”

6. “I am of the firm opinion that it is neither legal nor desirable or proper to admit the Notice of Motion on any one of these grounds”

7. The statements made in the Notice of Motion were examined and it was found that “there is virtually no concrete verifiable imputation…there are unsubstantiated surmises and conjectures which hardly merit of necessitate further investigation”

8. There is an “absence of credible and verifiable information” so it would be “inappropriate and irresponsible” to accept these statements

9. After consulting constitutional experts and and having studied their opinions the chairman of the Rajya sabha is “satisfied that admission of this Notice of Motion is neither desirable nor proper”.

10. The press conference by the opposition MPs immediately after submitting the notice to the Chairman “is against the propriety and parliamentary decorum as it denigrated the institution of CJI”