This case will decide if the decision of Chairperson Rajya Sabha in rejecting an impeachment motion against a judge is judicially reviewable?
On 20th April, 71 MPs from seven Opposition parties, led by Congress moved a motion for the impeachment of CJI accusing him of corruption, misuse of authority and failure to protect the independence of the judiciary. For initiating impeachment proceedings against the Judge, a minimum requirement of 50 MPs from Rajya Sabha or 100 MPs from Lok Sabha shall issue a notice to Chairperson or Speaker as per requirement of Judges Inquiry Act, 1968.
However, on 24th April, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha Venkaihah Naidu rejected the impeachment motion. Among various reasons listed, Mr. Naidu primarily stressed that an impeachment motion can be accepted only if petition lists instances of ‘proved misbehaviour’ as per Article 124(4) of the Constitution. He said that the petition for impeachment presented by the MPs at best indicate “a mere suspicion, a conjecture or an assumption”.
Thereafter, two Congress MPs in the Rajya Sabha – Pratap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadyak Yajnik have chellenged the rejection of the Impeachment motion by Chairman of Rajya Sabha before the Supreme Court. The matter is listed before a 5 judge bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri, A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and A.K. Goel.
Can the Chairman of Rajya Sabha exercise quasi-judicial power to reject an impeachment motion when the motion has been signed by the requisite number of MPs?