Monday, 23 April 2018

Brief ground of rejection of Notice of Motion for impeachment was needed

The Hon’ble Vice President of India and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha

Respected Sir,

You have rejected the Notice of Motion for the impeachment of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India after consulting half a dozen constitutional experts and senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. You have given all possible constitutional and legal grounds for rejection.

Sir, with due respect to and your advisers, there was no need to write such a lengthy letter which has given an opportunity to the opposition parties and their legal advisers to make noise and keep the issue alive.

Had I been your advisor, I would have suggested a short and simple order:

“After carefully going through the contents of the Notice of Motion, I do not find that it has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of Article 124 (4) of the Constitution which clearly says that a judge of the Supreme Court can be removed only “on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

About the very first charge which is about corruption corruption, the Notice says that it  requires a thorough investigation.” About the second charge, again about corruption, the Notice says that the Chief Justice “was likely to fall within the scope of investigation.” In the third charge, the Notice does not mention any specific allegation against the Chief Justice. The fourth charge does not relate to the period the Mr Justice Deepak Mishra has been Chief Justice. The fifth and last charge is the apprehension that the as Master of the Roster, the Chief Justice may misuse “his authority as Master of Roster with likely intent to influence the outcome.”

Since  Notice of Motion does not fulfill the constitutional requirement, it is invalid and inadmissible. If  the Hon’ble  Members of the Rajya Sabha  wish, they may resubmit the Notice of Motion prepared in accordance with the provisions Article 124 (4) of the Constitution i.e on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.”

Such a brief order putting the ball in the court of the opposition parties would have been a better strategy.

Yours faithfully

Devendra Narain
April 23, 2018