What is impeachment or what is called?
Definition of impeachment:
When a senior official or administrator of a country is accused of an offense before the legislature, it is called impeachment. The word 'impeachment' in Latin means to be caught. Simply put, according to the Constitution of India, impeachment is the process by which the President of India and the judges (judges) of the Supreme Court or High Court can be removed from office. It is mentioned in Article 61, 124(4), (5), 217 and 218 of the Indian Constitution.
Who is impeached according to the Indian Constitution?
According to the Constitution of India, Article 124(4) deals with the impeachment of judges of the Supreme Court or High Court, while Article 61 deals with the impeachment of the President. There is no provision in the Indian Constitution to impeach the Prime Minister, Vice President, Governor and Chief Minister.
History of Impeachment Motion:
The impeachment motion is believed to have originated from Britain. There was a provision for impeachment in the second half of the 14th century. This process was born out of the trusteeship authority of the Curia Regis, the royal council in England. The impeachment motion against Warren Hastings and Lord Melville (Henry Undas) in the 16th century will always be remembered.
Impeachment Motion in the United States of America:
According to the Constitution of the United States of America, the President, Co-operative President and all other state officials of that country can be removed from their office only if the charge of treason, bribery and any other special misconduct against them is proved by impeachment. The nature and grounds of impeachment are different in different states of America.
Each state has made different rules related to impeachment for its employees, but in nine states, no specific reasons have been proposed for impeachment, that is, impeachment can be done on any basis.
Difference between England and America impeachment process:
There is a big difference between the impeachment process of the United States and England. In England there is no fixed limit on what punishment will be given after the completion of the impeachment, but in the United States, according to the constitution of the country, after the impeachment motion is passed, the person concerned is removed from office.
The process of impeachment in India:
- The impeachment process in India is mentioned in Articles 61, 124(4), (5), 217 and 218 of the Constitution, which are used to remove the President of India and the Judge(s) of the Supreme Court or High Court. .
- Impeachment motion can be brought only when the violation of the constitution, misbehavior or incapacity is proved.
- According to the rules, an impeachment motion can be brought in either house of the Parliament.
- It needs the signature of at least 100 MPs to introduce it in the Lok Sabha, and at least 50 MPs in the Rajya Sabha. After this, if the Speaker or Speaker of that House accepts that motion (they can also reject it), then a committee of three members is formed to investigate the allegations.
- That committee consists of a Supreme Court Judge, a High Court Chief Justice (judge) and such eminent person as the Speaker or Speaker may deem fit for the case.
- If the impeachment motion is brought in both the houses of the Parliament, then the Speakers of both the houses together form a joint inquiry committee.
- After the inquiry is completed, the committee submits its report to the Speaker or Speaker, who presents it in his House. If the officers are proved guilty in the investigation, then voting is done in the house.
- For a resolution to be passed, it must have a majority of the total number of MPs in the House or the support of at least 2/3 of the MPs who have voted. If this resolution is passed in both the houses, then it is sent to the President for his approval.
How can the Chief Justice of India be dismissed or removed from office?
In India, a judge of the Supreme Court or any High Court can be removed only through impeachment motion. Only the President of the country has the power to remove a judge.
Procedure for Impeachment of Judge(s):
Article 124(4) of the Constitution of India provides for the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court. The procedure for the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court by way of impeachment is determined by the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968.
- A Supreme Court judge can be removed by order of the President. The impeachment motion against the judge must be passed with a two-thirds majority in both the houses of the Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha).
- The impeachment motion against the judge must be supported by 100 members of the Lok Sabha and 50 members of the Rajya Sabha. After this the motion is introduced in one of the houses. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha have the privilege of accepting or rejecting the motion of impeachment.
- After the impeachment motion is adopted, a three-member committee is formed and this committee investigates the allegations leveled against the judge.
- This three-member committee consists of the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of the High Court and an eminent jurist. If the committee finds the judge guilty in its investigation, the proceedings of impeachment begin in the House.
- After the impeachment motion is passed by two-thirds of the members of the House, it is sent to the other House. The impeachment passed by a two-thirds majority in both the houses is sent to the President. The President then issues an order to remove the judge.
- Till date in India no judge has been removed by impeachment because in all the cases before this the proceedings could never be completed either the motion did not get majority, or the judges resigned before that.
When and against which judge was the impeachment motion brought in India?
- For the first time in independent India, Justice V Ramaswamy, a Supreme Court judge, was impeached in Parliament. An impeachment motion was brought against him in May 1993. He was accused of misusing administrative and financial powers while serving as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
- This impeachment was not brought on the recommendation of the Chief Justice but by the Lok Sabha itself. But the ruling Congress did not vote in favor of it and it had failed.
- Justice Soumitra Sen of the Kolkata High Court was the second judge in the country to face impeachment in 2011 for unfair treatment. This is the only case of impeachment in India which was passed in the Rajya Sabha and reached the Lok Sabha. But Justice Sen resigned before the Lok Sabha could vote on it.
- Gujarat High Court judge JB Pardiwala was set to be impeached in 2015 for making inappropriate remarks related to caste, but he withdrew his remarks before that.
- Preparations were made for impeachment against Madhya Pradesh High Court Judge SK Gangel in 2015 itself, but the charges against him could not be proved during the investigation.
- Attempts were made to impeach Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh/Telangana High Court twice, in 2016 and 17, but these proposals never got the necessary support.
Procedure for impeachment of President:
The President of India i.e. the first citizen of the country has been given a lot of powers in the Constitution of India. The President of India has also been granted the power to remove both the Houses of Parliament. Under the Indian Constitution by impeachment, only the President is impeached, all other office bearers are removed from office.
Impeachment is a legislature related action whereas removal from office is an executive related action. The President can be relieved of his office under Article 61 of the Constitution of India. Let us know what is the whole process of impeaching the Indian President:-
- The impeachment proceedings against the President can be initiated in either House of the Parliament. But before the commencement of the proceedings, the President has to give written notice of this 14 days in advance.
- The charge must be in the form of a resolution and must be signed by one-fourth of the members of the House.
- If this resolution is passed by one House of Parliament, the second house will investigate the reasons for impeachment, when the second house is investigating the reasons for impeachment, then the President can present his defense by appearing himself or through an advocate. .
- This resolution will be passed by a majority of 2/3 of the total strength of both the houses. The President will be relieved from the date of the passing of the impeachment.
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