CJI Impeachment Case

Partap Singh Bajwa v Chairman Rajya Sabha

The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha rejected an impeachment motion against a judge despite the motion having support of the requisite number of MPs.

Decided

Parties

Petitioner: Amee Yajnik; Pratap Singh Bajwa

Lawyers: Kapil Sibal

Respondent: Chairman of Rajya Sabha

Lawyers: K.K. Venugopal

Case Details

Case Number: Diary No. 17543/2018

Next Hearing:

Last Updated: May 8, 2018

Key Issues

1

Is the Chairman of Rajya Sabha’s decision to reject an impeachment motion is open to judicial review?

Case Description

On 20th April, 71 MPs from seven Opposition parties, led by the Congress moved a motion for impeachment of the CJI accusing him of corruption, misuse of authority and failure to protect the independence of the judiciary. The Judges Inquiry Act, 1968 requires at least a minimum of 50 MPs from the Rajya Sabha or 100 MPs from the Lok Sabha to issue a notice to the Chairman or Speaker of the Lok Sabha in order to initiate impeachment proceedings against a judge.

The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Mr. Venkaiah Naidu rejected the impeachment motion. Mr. Naidu concluded that the motion for impeachment may be accepted only in cases of “proved misbehaviour” under Article 124(4) of the Constitution. He stressed that the petition for impeachment presented by the MPs indicates “a mere suspicion, a conjecture or an assumption.”

Thereafter, two Congress MPs, Pratap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadyak Yajnik, challenged the rejection of the impeachment motion by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha before the Supreme Court. The matter is before a 5 judge bench.