In a move that’s likely to add fuel to the fire of judicial controversies, it has been confirmed that the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra has indeed written to the President’s Secretariat to initiate removal proceedings against the Allahabad High Court judge Justice Narayan Shukla. The President’s Secretariat has confirmed that it received a letter dated February 2, 2018 from the CJI Dipak Misra’s office, seeking removal proceedings against Justice Shukla, who has reportedly been indicted in connection with the Medical Council of India (MCI) bribery case.
The indictment had been done by an “in-house committee” consisting of Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice SK Agnihotri and Madhya Pradesh High Court’s Justice PK Jaiswal, which has found Justice Shukla guilty of misconduct.
Justice Shukla was under the scanner for allegedly granting permission to a private medical college to admit students despite a ban by the Medical Council of India in place, as well as having Supreme Court orders forbidding such admissions from de-licensed private medical colleges.
Recently, the organisation Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), in its complaint to the senior most judges – under the in-house procedure of the Supreme Court before the five senior-most judges – inter-alia alleged that none other than the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra himself had refused to give a sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to lodge an FIR against Justice Shukla. As per the SC verdict in V. Ramaswamy case, a sitting HC judge cannot have an FIR registered against him without the permission of the CJI.
In this connection, an RTI application sought publicly unavailable information pertaining to the case. The information sought included replies to:
- Date on which the President’s Secretariat received a letter or recommendation from the Chief Justice of India with regard to the initiation of impeachment proceedings against Justice Narayan Shukla of the Allahabad High Court;
- Certified copy of the letter or recommendation along with annexure thereto received from the Chief Justice of India;
- Procedure adopted by the Secretariat in this matter;
- Certified copy of note made or order passed by the President of India on the said letter or recommendation;
- Certified copy of the President Secretariat ID note whereby the said letter or recommendation was forwarded or sent to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice and to the Prime Minister’s Office;
- Complete details of action taken on the said letter or recommendation from the CJI so far.
As carried in TW