No case for impeaching CJI, say ex-SC judges

Feb 01, 2018, 00:18
No case for impeaching CJI, say ex-SC judges

Justice Joseph was appointed as Permanent Judge of the Kerala High Court in 2004 and later transferred to Uttarakhand High Court where he assumed charge in 2014 as Chief Justice.

The CJI and several other judges of the top court had been meeting each other to discuss the issues which had come up at the presser.

In another development, the Lucknow High Court Judge, Shri Narayan Shukla, was sanctioned a leave for 90 days.

When the CJI writes to the president and prime minister for removal of a high court judge, the Rajya Sabha chairperson appoints a three-judge inquiry committee in consultation with the CJI under the provisions of the Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968 to look into the allegations.

In the current instance, after inquiring into allegations of favours granted by Justice Shukla to private medical colleges through judicial orders, the committee headed by Justice Banerjee gave a stinging report against the sitting HC judge.

Sources told The Indian Express that on September 6, 2017, a senior CBI official had approached CJI Misra, along with the evidence that the agency had, to seek his permission to file an FIR against Justice Shukla.

The name of Justice Joseph, who was part of the bench which in 2016 had quashed the imposition of President's Rule in the state, was cleared for elevation to the apex court in a collegium meeting held on January 10.

Sources said that the apex court judges met over lunch hosted by Justice A K Goel and some discussions took place among them.

The in-house inquiry deals with the case of 32 medical colleges to be barred by the Union government from admitting students for medical courses for two academic years starting from 2017. Shukla joined the Allahabad High Court in 2005 and was set to retire in July 2020.

The issue of who got to hear a PIL demanding an SIT probe into the medical education scam led the CJI to reaffirm his power as the ultimate arbiter of allocation of cases to benches - one of the triggers for the unrest among four seniormost judges and their unprecedented press conference.

While the Supreme Court judges have been functioning normally, there is no further comment from any of the judges involved in the impasse.

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