In a significant development, 61 Rajya Sabha MPs have moved a petition seeking impeachment proceedings against a judge of the Andhra Pradesh/Telangana High Court alleging atrocities against a Dalit judicial officer.
In recent times, Rajya Sabha MPs had moved impeachment notice against few judges namely, SK Gangele of Madhya Pradesh High Court, JB Pardiwala of Gujarat High Court and PD Dinakaran of Sikkim High Court. In 2011, Soumitra Sen, a former judge of the Calcutta High Court was impeached by the Rajya Sabha for the first time in the history of independent India.
In the current case, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat on Monday confirmed receiving the petition from 61 MPs and said a decision on its validity will be taken in the next two days after examining the matter.
According to the experts, under the Judges Enquiry Act, 1968, the petition is bound to be admitted.
The petition alleged that Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy committed atrocities against a Dalit principal junior civil judge in Kadappa district to allegedly put pressure on him in a criminal case.
The signatories of the impechement notice of Justice Reddy (under Article 217 read with Article 124 of the Constitution) included Congress party’s Digvijaya Singh, Oscar Fernandes, Kumari Selja, P L Punia, Shantaram Naik, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Naresh Agarwal and Neeraj Shekhar (both Samajwadi Party), beside others.
As per provisions of the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968, if the motion is admitted, the Speaker of Lok Sabha or the Chairman constitutes an investigation committee consisting of three members, including two judges.
Hundred members of the Lok Sabha or 50 members of the Rajya Sabha have to sign the petition of impeachment.
(With inputs from the PTI)