Judge writes to President, challenges CJI inquiry – The Economic Times –

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Judge writes to President, challenges CJI inquiry
ET Bureau | May 25, 2018, 08.15 AM IST
Judge writes to President, challenges CJI inquiryBCCL
Impeachment proceedings can only be initiated in Parliament by way of a petition signed either by 50 Rajya Sabha MPs or 100 Lok Sabha MPs.
NEW DELHI: Allahabad high court judge S Narayan Shukla, who was recommended for impeachment by chief justice of India, has sent in a representation to President Ram Nath Kovind challenging the inquiry against him.
Those familiar with the details of the development told ET that the President, in turn, has referred the same to the government, which is now actively considering to push it back to the CJI.
The President, who has no constitutional role in initiating the process of impeachment of a judge, was put in a spot by the CJI when he sent a recommendation to Rashtrapati Bhavan to impeach justice Shukla.
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Impeachment proceedings can only be initiated in Parliament by way of a petition signed either by 50 Rajya Sabha MPs or 100 Lok Sabha MPs.
Justice Shukla has given the matter a fresh twist with his representation that he sent in April first week, two months after the CJI sent his recommendation to the President.
ET has learnt that in his representation, justice Shukla has claimed that all the three judges were not present when he deposed before the inquiry on January 15. He has alleged that the rules require all of them to be there.
The inquiry was conducted by three judges — Madras HC chief justice Indira Banerjee, Sikkim HC chief justice SK Agnihotri and the MP high court’s justice PK Jaiswal.
The inquiry had found justice Shukla guilty of “judicial misconduct”. While the exact details were not known, the inquiry had focused on a bunch of complaints, including his role as executive council member in the Shankuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University.
Despite being indicted, justice Shukla did not resign. The CJI then in an unusual move recommended his impeachment to the President and in a separate letter to the prime minister sought his expulsion.
Simultaneously, justice Shukla was relieved of all judicial work. Since impeachment is a legislative action, Rashtrapati Bhavan saw no role for the President in the matter.
The government, which is already negotiating a tricky terrain with the judiciary, is now studying the representation and the rulebook to decide on the future course of action. In all likelihood, the matter may go back to the CJI, though a final call is yet to be taken.
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RAM NATH KOVINDCJIDIPAK MISRAINDIRA BANERJEERASHTRAPATI BHAVANS NARAYAN SHUKLA
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