CJI to recommend high court judge’s removal
NEW DELHI: Armed with an in-house probe report against sitting Allahabad high court judge Shri Narayan Shukla into the so-called MCI bribery case, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) has decided to recommend the removal of the erring judge to the President of India, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.
The file recommending the dismissal of the judge is still with CJI Dipak Misra, but it could be forwarded to the President and the Prime Minister any time, this person added.
An investigation against Justice SN Shukla was initiated by CJI Misra last November, and a three-member committee, comprising Madras high court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, Sikkim high court Chief Justice SK Agnihotri and Madhya Pradesh high court judge PK Jaiswal was set up. The committee recently concluded its probe against Justice Shukla, made adverse remarks against him in its report, and recommended his removal.
Justice SN Shukla was investigated for passing an order granting permission to a Lucknowbased medical college to admit students, despite the presence of a Supreme Court order restraining the high court from doing so.
Though the three-member committee has indicted him and recommended Shukla’s removal, it has not endorsed the registration of a criminal case against the judge, the person said.
After the report was submitted, the CJI advised the chief justice of the Allahabad high court to withdraw judicial work from Justice Shukla, who refused to resign or seek voluntary retirement despite being informed about the adverse finding against him.
The chief justice of the Allahabad high court has withdrawn all judicial work from Justice Shukla. His name does not appear on the roster according to the list of business released by the Allahabad high court registry for January 30. “I request you to leave me alone,” Justice Shukla said when he was contacted.
According to the Indian Constitution, a judge can be removed only on the ground of proven misbehaviour or incapacity. The complaint about misbehaviour or incapacity against a judge has to be probed under the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968.
A removal motion signed by 100 members in case of the Lok Sabha or 50 members in case of the Rajya Sabha is to be given to the speaker or the chairperson.
The House then constitutes a three-member committee to investigate the charges.
The committee should consist of the Chief Justice or judge of the Supreme Court, a Chief Justice of a high court and a distinguished jurist. If the committee finds the judge guilty of the charges of misbehaviour or incapacity, the House in which the motion was introduced, can take up the motion for consideration.
Once the House in which the removal motion was introduced passes it with a special majority, it goes to the second House, which also has to pass it with the special majority.
After the motion is passed by both the Houses of Parliament by special majority, an address is presented to the President for removal of the judge. The President then passes an order removing the judge.
Justice SN Shukla