NEW DELHI : Today, some
Members of Parliament initiated proceedings for the removal of the
current Chief Justice of India by submitting a notice to the Chairman of
Rajya Sabha. A judge may be removed from office through a motion
adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘proven misbehaviour or incapacity’.
While the Constitution does
not use the word ‘impeachment’, it is colloquially used to refer to the
proceedings under Article 124 (for the removal of a Supreme Court
judge) and Article 218 (for the removal of a High Court judge).
The Constitution provides
that a judge can be removed only by an order of the President, based on a
motion passed by both Houses of Parliament. The procedure for removal
of judges is elaborated in the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968. The Act sets out the following steps for removal from office:
the Act, an impeachment motion may originate in either House of
Parliament. To initiate proceedings: (i) at least 100 members of Lok
Sabha may give a signed notice to the Speaker, or (ii) at least 50
members of Rajya Sabha may give a signed notice to the Chairman. The
Speaker or Chairman may consult individuals and examine relevant
material related to the notice. Based on this, he or she may decide to
either admit the motion or refuse to admit it.
the motion is admitted, the Speaker or Chairman (who receives it) will
constitute a three-member committee to investigate the complaint. It
will comprise: (i) a Supreme Court judge; (ii) Chief Justice of a High
Court; and (iii) a distinguished jurist. The committee will frame
charges based on which the investigation will be conducted. A copy of
the charges will be forwarded to the judge who can present a written
concluding its investigation, the Committee will submit its report to
the Speaker or Chairman, who will then lay the report before the
relevant House of Parliament. If the report records a finding of
misbehaviour or incapacity, the motion for removal will be taken up for
consideration and debated.
- Once the motion is adopted in both Houses, it is sent to the President, who will issue an order for the removal of the judge.
(Source - PRS Legislative Research)