Medical College Bribery Case: RTI Reply Reveals CJI Wrote To President’s Secretariat For Removal Of Allahabad HC Judge
Armed with the in-house committee report that made adverse remarks against Allahabad High Court Judge, Justice Narayan Shukla, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has written to the President’s Secretariat requesting them to initiate removal proceedings against the Judge.
A probe against Justice Shukla was initiated by the CJI in November last year, and a three-member committee, comprising Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice S.K. Agnihotri, and Madhya Pradesh High Court’s Justice PK Jaiswal was set up. He was then investigated for granting permission to a private medical college to admit students despite a ban by the Medical Council of India as well as Supreme Court orders against such permission.
The committee recently concluded its probe, and reportedly made certain adverse remarks against him, finding that he had "disgraced the values of judicial life, acted in a manner unbecoming of a judge, lowered the majesty, dignity and credibility of his office". The CJI had then directed that all judicial work to be taken away from him.
A response to a Right to Information application filed by Mr. Paras Nath Singh has now confirmed that the CJI has sought initiation of removal proceedings against the Judge. Mr. Singh's application had sought:
- Date on which the President’s Secretariat received a letter or a recommendation from the Chief Justice of India with regard to initiation of impeachment proceedings against Justice Narayan Shukla of the Allahabad High Court;
- Certified copy of the letter or a recommendation along with annexure thereto received from the Chief Justice of India;
- Procedure adopted by the Secretariat in this matter;
- Certified copy of note made or order passed by the President of India on the said letter or recommendation;
- Certified copy of the President Secretariat ID note whereby the said letter or recommendation was forwarded or sent to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice and to the Prime Minister’s Office;
- Complete details of action taken on the said letter or recommendation from the CJI so far.
In response, the President's Secretariat confirmed that it received a letter dated February 2, 2018 from the CJI's office, seeking initiation of removal proceedings against Justice Shukla, on the ground of his indictment by the committee. The letter, it said, was "under consideration". The response is, however, silent on other questions that had been asked in the application.
Once the CJI's letter is accepted, the Vice-President, who is the Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, would constitute a three-member inquiry panel, in consultation with the CJI under the Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968. This panel would then examine the allegations made by the in-house committee and based on their advice, it would be decided if the removal motion will be debated in Rajya Sabha.
This story is based on an article published in Lawyers Collective