NEW DELHI: Though it is unclear if the impeachment proceedings would succeed against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, any investigation in future itself is unlikely to be completed by the time he retires on October 2 this year. In previous cases, including those of Justice V Ramaswami’s and Justice Soumitra Sen’s, the investigation by a three-member committee took almost two years to be completed.
However, if the process is initiated now, it can affect CJI Misra’s actions during the remainder of his tenure. The CJI is presently dealing with significant issues such as the Ayodhya-Ramjanambhoomi case, the challenge to the validity of the Aadhaar Act and the review of the Supreme Court’s decision on Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises gay sex.
At present, CJI Misra has dedicated most of his judicial time to the Constitution bench hearings — he heads 15 such benches.In the past, whenever high court judges have faced impeachment, in most cases, their work was withdrawn and they were made to sit idle awaiting the outcome of the impeachment motion.Under the In-House Procedure formulated by the Supreme Court in 1999, if a judge is found by the CJI’s inquiry committee to be guilty of any impropriety, the standard practice is to not assign any judicial work.