Quota row: Impeachment move against judge

RS members say Gujarat HC Judge Pardiwala’s comments on reservation are objectionable

Updated - March 24, 2016 10:46 am IST

Published - December 19, 2015 02:49 am IST - NEW DELHI:

A group of 58 Rajya Sabha MPs moved an impeachment notice against Justice J.B. Pardiwala of the Gujarat High Court for his “objectionable remarks on the issue of reservation.”

The MPs, in their petition, said Justice Pardiwala’s comments on reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, while giving a ruling in a case against Patidar leader Hardik Patel, were objectionable.

The specific objection seemed to be connected to the observations made by the judge in paragraph 62 of the judgment. “If I am asked by anyone to name two things which have destroyed this country or rather have not allowed the country to progress in the right direction, then the same is, (i) Reservation and (ii) Corruption. It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after 65 years of Independence. When our Constitution was framed, it was understood that reservation would remain for a period of 10 years, but unfortunately, it has continued even after 65 years of Independence,” he said.

He had also said “countrymen should rise and fight against corruption at all levels, rather than shedding blood and indulging in violence for reservation. Reservation has only played the role of an amoeboid monster sowing seeds of discord amongst the people.”

The MPs who signed the petition included those from the Congress, including former Minister Oscar Fernandes, and AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh, Janata Dal (U) MP K.C. Tyagi, CPI leader D. Raja and MPs from the DMK and the BSP.

“We have taken exception to his remarks on reservation,” Mr. Tyagi told The Hindu .

If the presiding officer (in this case Vice-President Hamid Ansari) accepts the notice, he will have to constitute a three-member committee to probe whether the charge is serious enough to warrant removal under Article 124(4) of the Constitution.

In the past, Parliament has taken up impeachment motions only twice: in 1993 against Justice V. Ramaswami, which failed, and in 2011 against Justice Soumitra Sen, who resigned after the Rajya Sabha adopted the motion for his removal and sent it to the Lok Sabha to complete the process.

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