Opposition works hard to build consensus on removal of CJI
Opposition parties intend to carry on their efforts to build a broad consensus on the motion to remove the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. Congress's leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge claims that discussions will continue among the Opposition leaders in the Rajya Sabha. The impeachment motion is related to the allegations made by the four top judges against CJI.
How does an impeachment play out?
A CJI impeachment motion requires support of at least 50 Rajya Sabha MPs or 100 Lok Sabha MPs. The Chair/Speaker decides whether to admit the motion. If admitted, a three-member committee is constituted to investigate the charges. If the judge is found guilty, the House will consider the motion. After both Houses pass the motion with a special majority, the President has to give his assent.
What do we know till now?
Congress has collected 65 signatures, 15 more than the minimum required. Incidentally, there is a divide within the Congress. One section believes the party shouldn't get involved, lest it appear anti-judiciary. Another section thinks this move will act as a deterrent, preventing executive from influencing judiciary. The Left and NCP have backed the move, while TMC, DMK and BJD haven't made their stand clear.
But, will this motion have any effect?
If the Opposition goes ahead with this move, for the first time in the country, a motion will be moved to remove a sitting judge. But, even if the motion is admitted, investigations take about a year. Misra, meanwhile, is retiring in October'18. So, the motion as such won't have any effect except for being the first of its kind.