NEW DELHI: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday rejected the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra without referring the matter to a committee, but presiding officers in the past, have always referred the matter to a three-member committee to examine the charges levelled against the judicial officer concerned.
In 1993, India saw the first-ever impeachment motion against Justice V Ramaswami who retired as a Supreme Court judge in 1994. Accepting the motion, speaker Rabi Ray constituted a committee comprising Justice P B Sawant of the Supreme Court, chief justice P D Desai of the Bombay High Court and Justice O Chinnappa Reddy, retired judge of the Supreme Court to investigate the affair. The committee found Ramaswami guilty of 11 out of 14 charges.
The impeachment motion was placed in the Lok Sabha for debate and voting on May 10, 1993. But the motion failed as it collapsed on the floor of the Lok Sabha following abstentions by the Congress.As per the provisions of the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968, if the motion is admitted, the speaker of Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha chairman constitutes an investigation committee consisting of three members.
In January 2010, an impeachment motion was moved against Karnataka High Court chief justice P D Dinakaran by Opposition parties. Allegations listed in the impeachment motion included possessing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters, entering into benami transactions and possessing land beyond the agricultural ceiling limit.
Dinakaran was then transferred to Sikkim, where he took charge as chief justice of the Sikkim High Court. Dinakaran eventually stepped down from his post in July 2011, before impeachment proceedings could be initiated against him.The then Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari had constituted the three-member panel comprising Supreme Court Justice Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J S Khehar and senior advocate P P Rao to examine the 12 charges framed in the notice of motion. But before the proceedings got completed, Dinakaran resigned from his post.
Soumitra Sen, another Calcutta High Court judge sent a letter tendering his resignation to President Pratibha Patil and the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar just days before the Lok Sabha was preparing to take up an impeachment motion that had been passed by a large majority in the Upper House on August 18.Probe panel was set up by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari headed by Supreme Court Justice B Sudershan Reddy and had as its members Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and noted Jurist Fali S. Nariman. The committee said the charges were duly proved.
Sen was found guilty of misappropriating lakhs of rupees when he was a lawyer in the 1980s and had been appointed received by the Calcutta High Court and of misrepresenting facts.In April 2015, a three member judicial committee was set up by vice president Hamid Ansari comprising Supreme Court judge R Bhanumathi, Justice Manjula Chellur and senior advocate K K Venugopal after admitting a motion supported by 58 members to impeach Justice S K Gangele, of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on charges of sexual harassment against him by a former Additional District and Sessions Judge. However, the committee gave him clean chit.