On Friday, The Rajya Sabha Chairman Who is also our vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu is closely inspecting the notice submitted by opposition members for the removal of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and will take a final call on whether to accept or reject it after consulting legal experts, two senior government officials familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity.
One of the officials said, “Though no time limit has been prescribed by the rulebook, in previous cases when similar notices were submitted, the time is taken by the RS chairman/Lok Sabha speaker to decide varied between three and 13 days.”
Another official said. “Once a notice is submitted, the RS secretariat does a factual verification of the signatures given by the MPs and submits its report. After that, the RS chairman will consult legal luminaries to decide if prima facie there is ground to admit or reject the motion. In earlier cases, the RS chairman consulted the CJI but in this case, because the motion is against the CJI, he will have to consult a legal luminary,”
“It is not a motion admitted under any Rules of the House but is provided for by the statute. So in my opinion, petitioners can challenge the decision on the ground that it is biased,” said PDT Achary, a former Lok Sabha secretary general. Another former Rajya Sabha secretary general, Vivek Kumar Agnihotri, concurred.
He said “Though there is no precedent, I think it can be challenged by the petitioners if the RS chairman rejects the motion,”
In the event of the Vice President deciding to admit the motion, the two government officials quoted above said that a different and more elaborate process will be set in motion.
The RS chairman will constitute a three-member inquiry committee comprising a senior judge of the Supreme Court, a high court judge, and a distinguished jurist to look into the charges leveled against the CJI. The committee has to submit its report in three months.
“But it can also seek an extension as was done in the case of Calcutta high court judge Soumitra Sen in 2011,” Agnihotri said.
“If the report is in favor of the person against whom allegations have been made, the motion has to be accepted by the House. If, however, the report finds misbehavior or incapacity against the person, the process of removal starts.” said one of the officials.