On April 20, 54 Rajya Sabha members gave a motion notice to Vice President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari demanding impeachment proceedings against the present Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy of the High Court for Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. The allegations against the judge vary from nepotism to corruption, disproportionate assets of wealth and interfering in the judicial process.
The first attempt to remove Justice Nagarjuna Reddy by 61 members failed in December last year, following the last-minute withdrawal by 19 members. Though the members who have signed the motion cut across the party lines, sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat say, that it amounts to shadow boxing between the TDP and the Congress party. The TDP wants impeachment proceedings to begin against Reddy, while the Congress is opposing it since the Judge was appointed during the Congress regime. Rumours have it that the latest attempt is also on the verge of fizzling out with Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad prevailing on MPs to withdraw their names. It is learnt that about 10 MPs have once again withdrawn from the notice. An impeachment motion requires minimum of 50 Rajya Sabha members. Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha Chairman is yet to send it to Chief Justice Khehar Singh for his advice. If the Chief Justice gives a green signal, the Rajya Sabha Chairman would appoint a three-member judicial committee headed by sitting Supreme Court Judge and two other High Court Judges for an enquiry. Parliament is the only means to remove judges from office in the country’s higher judiciary. Since 1950, only four judges of the higher judiciary have faced an impeachment process.
VOL. 11 | ISSUE 3| JUNE 2017