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How to Impeach the Chief Justice of India? The Constitutional Process

Chief Justice Of India

Chief Justice of India
By Legaleagle86 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

With the latest controversy involving the current Chief Justice of India Shri Dipak Mishra, wherein the opposition parties have filed a motion for the impeachment (or removal) of him from the post, many of you might be wondering if it is actually possible to do this...and how?

Yes, it is allowed by the constitution to remove a current Chief Justice of India. 
The Chief Justice of India is the Head of the Supreme Court of India, which is one of the pillars of the Indian Democracy. It is a post of great power and responsibility.

Hence the process of impeachment or removal has been provided to ensure that if ever a wrong person is able to reach a position of such power, he/she can be removed so as to not cause damage to the nation.

Steps To Impeach the Chief Justice of India

  • A notice of motion for the removal of the Chief Justice of India is issued by either 100 MPs from the Lok Sabha or 50 MPs from the Rajya Sabha. This motion can be moved in either of the two Houses of the Indian Parliament.

  • The motion can either be accepted or rejected by the Speaker/Chairman of the House.

  • If admitted, the Speaker or the Chairman of the House forms a three-member committee comprising a senior judge of the Supreme Court, a judge of the High Court and a distinguished jurist to investigate the charges levelled against the Chief Justice of India. 

  • If the investigating committee supports the motion to impeach the Chief Justice, it is then taken up for discussion in the House of the Parliament, where the motion had been introduced. After the discussion, this motion needs to be passed by a 2/3rds majority of the House present and voting on that day.

  • Once it is passed in that house, it is taken up for another round of discussion and voting but this time in the second house of the parliament. Here as well, the motion needs to be passed by a 2/3rds majority.

  • Only when both the houses have passed the motion will a special majority, the motion reaches the President of India for his signatures. Once the president signs the motion, the Chief Justice is removed from his post and the process is completed.

Final Thoughts

As you may have noticed, it is not a very easy task to remove the Chief Justice if India from his post. This process has been created in this way to ensure that removal of Chief Justice is not done due to political rivalry.

Only when a majority of the political parties agree, the Chief Justice be rmeoved

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