Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: In an unexpected turn of events, Rajya Sabha Congress Parliamentarians Pratap Singh Bajwa & Amee Harshadray Yajnik have withdrawn the he petition challenging the rejection of impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra after the Constitution Bench of Dr. AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and AK Goel, JJ refused to share the details of the administrative order by which the Constitution Bench was formed.

The Parliamentarians had filed the petition after Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu rejected the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, moved by 7 opposition parties. He had, in his order, stated:

“The motion presented by the MPs indicates a mere suspicion, conjecture or an assumption in the Prasad Education Trust case. The same does not constitute proof beyond a reasonable doubt required to make out a case of proved misbehavior.”

64 lawmakers from seven parties had moved an impeachment motion in Rajya Sabha against CJI Dipak Misra. The motion was moved a day after the Supreme Court rejected a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge B H Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

The Supreme Court has been marred by controversy ever since CJI Misra has joined the office. The initiation of the impeachment motion  on the opposition’s agenda ever since the senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice J. Chelameswar, along with Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Jospeh, held a press conference over the controversy relating to assignment of cases by the CJI. The judges had also released the letter that they had addressed to the CJI on the said issue. On the principle of Chief Justice being the ‘master of the roster’, the letter states:

“The convention of recognizing the privilege of the Chief Justice to form the roster and assign cases to different members/benches of the Court is a convention devised for a disciplined and efficient transaction of the business of the Court but not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues.”

It is important to note that earlier, the Court number 1 of the Supreme Court witnessed a high voltage drama when a 7-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra, assembled for reviewing the 2-judge bench order calling for constitution of a Constitution Bench of the first five judges of the Supreme Court to hear the matter wherein it was alleged that attempts were made to bribe some Supreme Court Judges in the matters relating to Medical admission scam. The bench of J Chelameswar and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ had given the said order on 09.11.2017 .

Hot Off The PressNews

Seven opposition parties, led by Congress, have moved an impeachment motion in Rajya Sabha against CJI Dipak Misra. The development came after a delegation of political parties met with Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu at his residence earlier in the day.

Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, Ghulam Nabi Azad told media:

“We have moved an impeachment motion seeking the removal of CJI Dipak Misra under five listed grounds of misbehaviour. We have sought his removal under Article 217 read with article 124 (4) of the Constitution of India. … 71 MPs had signed the impeachment motion but as seven have retired the number is now 64. We have mentioned this in the letter. We have more than the minimum requirement needed to entertain the motion and we are sure that the Honourable Chairman will take action.”

Senior Advocate & Congress leader Kapil Sibal said:

“Since Chief Justice Dipak Misra was appointed to the high office, there have been situations when questions have been raised about the manner in which he has dealt with certain cases and taken certain administrative decisions.”

Senior Advocate & Congress Leader Salman Khurshid, howver, said:

“Impeachment is too serious a matter to be played with frivolously on the grounds of disagreement with any judgement or point of view of the Court. I am not party to or privy with discussions that have taken place between different parties and for me to reflect specifically on whether the grounds are justified would be unfair.”

The moves comes a day after the 3-judge bench of CJI Misra and AM Khanwikar and Dr. DY Chandrachud, JJ dismissed the petion seeking SIT probe into the death of CBI Judge Loya.

It is not the first time that the Supreme Court has been marred by controversy ever since CJI Misra has joined the office. The initiation of the impeachment motion was back on the opposition’s agenda after the senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice J. Chelameswar, along with Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Jospeh, held a press conference over the controversy relating to assignment of cases by the CJI. The judges had also released the letter that they had addressed to the CJI on the said issue. On the principle of Chief Justice being the ‘master of the roster’, the letter states:

“The convention of recognizing the privilege of the Chief Justice to form the roster and assign cases to different members/benches of the Court is a convention devised for a disciplined and efficient transaction of the business of the Court but not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues.”

It is important to note that earlier, the Court number 1 of the Supreme Court witnessed a high voltage drama when a 7-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra, assembled for reviewing the 2-judge bench order calling for constitution of a Constitution Bench of the first five judges of the Supreme Court to hear the matter wherein it was alleged that attempts were made to bribe some Supreme Court Judges in the matters relating to Medical admission scam. The bench of J Chelameswar and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ had given the said order on 09.11.2017 .

Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was one of the 4 judges who held the aforementioned press conference, is next in line to be the Chief Justice of India after CJI Justice Dipak Misra retires on 02.10.2018.

To know more about the current Chief Justice of India, click here.

(With inputs from ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Reports suggest that the members of the opposition parties have renewed their efforts to remove CJI Dipak Misra from his office in the light of the allegations of bribery against him in the Medical Admission Scam case. The draft on impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra has been signed by Congress leaders including Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad. NCP’s Majeed Memon has also signed the draft.

It is not the first time that the Supreme Court has been marred by controversy ever since CJI Misra has joined the office. The initiation of the impeachment motion was back on the opposition’s agenda after the senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice J. Chelameswar, along with Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Jospeh, held a press conference over the controversy relating to assignment of cases by the CJI. The judges had also released the letter that they had addressed to the CJI on the said issue. On the principle of Chief Justice being the ‘master of the roster’, the letter states:

“The convention of recognizing the privilege of the Chief Justice to form the roster and assign cases to different members/benches of the Court is a convention devised for a disciplined and efficient transaction of the business of the Court but not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues.”

It is important to note that earlier, the Court number 1 of the Supreme Court witnessed a high voltage drama when a 7-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra, assembled for reviewing the 2-judge bench order calling for constitution of a Constitution Bench of the first five judges of the Supreme Court to hear the matter wherein it was alleged that attempts were made to bribe some Supreme Court Judges in the matters relating to Medical admission scam. The bench of J Chelameswar and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ had given the said order on 09.11.2017 .

Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was one of the 4 judges who held the aforementioned press conference, is next in line to be the Chief Justice of India after CJI Justice Dipak Misra retires on 02.10.2018.

TO know more about the current Chief Justice of India, click here.

(With inputs from ANI)

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Dismissing the petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal wherin it was alleged that that attempts were made to bribe some Supreme Court Judges in the matters relating to Medical admission scam, the 3-judge bench of RK Agrawal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar, JJ held that there was no question of registering any FIR against any sitting Judge of the High Court or of this Court as it is not permissible as per the law laid down by a 5-judge Constitution Bench in K. Veeraswami v. Union of India, (1991) 3 SCC 655 ,wherein this Court observed that in order to ensure the independence of the judiciary the apprehension that the Executive being largest litigant, it is likely to misuse the power to prosecute the Judges.

Noticing that the FIR mentioned by the petitioner did not reflect the names of any of the Supreme Court judges, the bench said:

“The entire judicial system has been unnecessarily brought into disrepute for no good cause whatsoever. It passes comprehension how it was, that the petitioner presumed, that there is an FIR lodged against any public functionary.”

It was held that there cannot be registration of any FIR against a High Court Judge or Chief Justice of the High Court or the Supreme Court Judge without the consultation of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and, in case there is an allegation against Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, the decision has to be taken by the Hon’ble President, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the said decision.

Upon the contention that a judicial order cannot be violated, and it could not have been rendered ineffective by the Constitution Bench decision of this Court dated 10.11.2017 and that by doing so the Chief Justice was being a judge in his own case, the bench relied upon the 3-judge bench decision in Dr. D C Saxena v. Chief Justice of India, (1996) 5 SCC 216, where it was held:

it was the duty of the Chief Justice to assign judicial work to brother Judges. By doing so, he did not become a Judge in his own cause. It is contempt to imply that the Chief Justice would assign it to a Bench which would not pass an order adverse to him.”

Regarding the contention that A.M. Khanwilkar, J. should have recused himself from the bench as he was a member of the Bench which disposed of the matter of Prasad Education Trust vide order dated 18.9.2017, the Court said that it was nothing but another attempt of forum hunting which cannot be permitted. The bench said:

“it is the duty of the Bench to take up such matter firmly; such unscrupulous allegations and insinuations cannot be allowed to be hurled by oral prayer made on behalf of the petitioner for recusal.”

To conclude, the bench said:

“Though it is true, that none of us is above law; no person in the higher echelons is above the law but, at the same time, it is the duty of both the Bar and the Bench, to protect the dignity of the entire judicial system.”

Coming down heavily upon the petitioner, who after arguing at length, at the end, submitted that she was not aiming at any individual, the Court said:

“If that was not so, unfounded allegations ought not to have been made against the system and that too against the Hon’ble Chief Justice of this country.”

Upon the question of unprecedented situation being created on 10.11.2017, the bench said:

“As Hon’ble Chief Justice of India had to assign it to a Bench, situation of dilemma was created for Hon’ble Chief Justice of India whether to assign the matter of CJAR to an appropriate Bench or to go by the judicial order by constituting a Bench of 5 senior Judges on 13.11.2017.”

The Court said that it deprecated the practice of forum hunting and that it cannot fall prey to such unscrupulous devices adopted by the litigants, so as to choose the Benches, as that is a real threat to very existence of the system itself and it would be denigrated in case we succumb to such pressure tactics. [Kamini Jaiswal v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1322, decided on 14.11.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 7-Judge Bench of Jagdish Singh Khehar, CJ and Dipak Misra, J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur, PC Ghose and Kurian Joseph, JJ, writing down the detailed judgement in the Justice C.S. Karnan matter, said that Justice Karnan shielded himself from actions, by trumpeting his position, as belonging to an under-privileged caste and levelled obnoxious allegations against innumerable Judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices of the High Courts, but mostly against Judges of the Madras High Court, however, he did not support his allegations with any material. The Court had, on 09.05.2017, found Justice Karnan guilty of contempt of court and imposed 6 months’ imprisonment upon him.

Stating that Justice Karnan’s allegations were malicious and defamatory, the Court said that Justice Karnan carried his insinuations to the public at large by endorsing his letters carefully so as to widely circulate the contents of his communications, to the desired circles. Some of his letters were intentionally endorsed, amongst others, to the President of the Tamil Nadu Advocate Association. He also used internet to place his point of view, and the entire material, in the public domain. Further, during the course of hearing of the instant contempt petition, his ridicule of the Supreme Court remained unabated. He stayed orders passed by this Court, restrained the Judges on this Bench from leaving the country and convicted them, along with another Judge of this Court, and sentenced them to 5 years imprisonment, besides imposing individual costs on the convicted Judges. Considering the aforesaid facts, the Court held that the actions of Justice Karnan constituted the grossest and gravest actions of contempt of Court and hence, he is liable to be punished, for his unsavoury actions and behavior.

However, J. Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi, JJ, writing down a separate judgment, explained the scope power of the Court in the matter and said that scandalising the Court is considered to be contempt of court and the actions of Justice Karnan amount to scandalising. They also acknowledged the fact that the case had highlighted 2 important aspects for consideration i.e.

(1) the need to revisit the process of selection and appointment of judges to the constitutional courts, for that matter any member of the judiciary at all levels.  The Judges said that what appropriate mechanism would be suitable for assessing the personality of the candidate who is being considered for appointment to be a member of a constitutional court is a matter which is to be identified after an appropriate debate by all the concerned – the Bar, the Bench, the State and Civil Society.

(2) the need to set up appropriate legal regime to deal with situations where the conduct of a Judge of a constitutional court requires corrective measures – other than impeachment – to be taken. It was said that there can be deviations in the conduct of the holders of the offices of constitutional courts which do not strictly call for impeachment of the individual or such impeachment is not feasible, however, the Constitution is silent in this regard.

Stating that the whole incident has caused an embarrassment to Indian Judiciary, the judges called for nationwide debate on the aforementioned issues. [In Re: Justice C.S. Karnan,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 703, decided on 04.07.2017]