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Impeachment Of President And Judges Under The Constitution Of India

India is a democratic country where no one is above the law. But what about lawmakers i.e., President and Judges. One who make law and other who supervise the law. Their might get chances that they misuse their powers. Hence it can be well imagine reason for this concept.

"Impeachment", old French word has new meaning 'to prevent'. Nobody knows that this word will evolve into new concept in the eyes of law.

Impeachment means to remove the authority who fails to perform their duty. In India, Impeachment is use to remove President and judges of High Courts and Supreme Court. Reason for impeaching the above Authority is different. It is used against President when they perform the Unconstitutional work. It is used against Judges because of their incapability or misbehavior. Constitution does not define these 2 words. But it include Crime.

The process of Impeachment was first used by the Britishers. That time it was defined as 'Good Parliament'. It was first used in 14th Century. It was first used against Baron Latimer.

Later on It (Impeachment) was adopted by many countries including India.

It is surprise to know that till now no President was impeached. In the cases where President was removed and new elected temporary is because of death of old one.

The President of India can be impeached under Article 61 of the constitution. The Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts can be removed under Article 124(4) of Constitution.

Procedure for Impeachment of President in India:

The Process of impeachment is defines in Article 61 of "The Constitution of India". But the detail steps for impeachment is defined under Article 56 to Article 61.

Article 56 provides that the President can be remove from his office by providing his/her resignation letter to Vice-President. It is also mention in Article 56(b) that if the President perform an unconstitutional work, will be impeached. Also, if he omits his duty that Constitution mandates he will be impeached.

Article 57 & 58 provides the conditions of re-election and Eligibility of President. It is required to fulfill so that new President can occupy the seat and perform his duty. They declare the citizens who is more than 36 years old and is qualified to become member of Parliament can apply for becoming President.

Article 59 and 60 declares the conditions and oath of President. It is used as a tool to check whether actions of President are violating any duty obliged by Constitution.

The Procedure to impeachment starts under Article 61. It is a main article that tells about Impeachment. Any house of the law can initiate the charges against the President.

The 1st step begins with the notice of Proposal by the members of the house. This notice must be signed by 1/4th members of the house. Also this notice should be produce within 14 days for resolution.

After that the resolution of impeachment should be pass by majority of 2/3rd members.

In the next step the another house of Parliament investigates the charges. In this step if the President wants he can appear in such investigation. If the investigation completes and majority of 2/3rd members of Parliament pass resolution against President then he will be impeached. If the resolution of 2/3rd members of parliament is passed to remove charges, Then no power can impeach President from his office.

As we already discuss there is no case of impeachment in India. But all over the world, President of their native countries were impeached.

In America, there are 3 Presidents who were removed: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Other than these President, Richard Nixon was inquired by House of Representatives in U.S.

Donald Trump was impeached for 'obstruction of Congress and abuse of power'

Andrew Johnson was impeached for 11 crimes and misdernmeanors.

Bill Clinton was impeached for 'obstruction of Congress and abuse of power'

It can be easily seen that America is the only country in world who Impeached their president. Till now U.S. impeached their 3 President.

Procedure establish for Impeaching Judges:

Article 124(4) gives us the procedure for impeaching judges of Supreme Court and High Courts. The Constitution says in this article clause 4 'A judge of Supreme court can not be removed from his office except by an order of President passes after an address by each house of Parliament supported by majority of the total membership of that house and by the majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the House present and voting has been presented by Parliament in a same session of removal of such removal on the ground of proven misbehavior or incapacity.'.

These lines signifies the how and when the judges of Supreme Court are impeached. It means if the judge of Supreme court misbehaves in the court or incapable of attending any session.

The Constitution does not defines these 2 words but it include abuse of power, criminal activities.

The procedure for impeachment starts. The house of Parliament address this issue with majority of 2/3rd members vote for removal to President. The President will then pass the order against the judge for impeachment. 2 The procedure for impeaching Judge of any high court is same as of Supreme Court. For the High court Judge, the motion is signed by 100 members of lok Sabha or 50 members of Rajya Sabha. If motion is signed by Lok Sabha then the motion is pass by Speaker. If Rajya Sabha signed it then the motion is pass by Chairperson.

List of Judges who were impeached in History of India:
  1. Justice Soumitra Sen (Calcutta High Court, 2011)
  2. Justice P.D. Dinakaran (Sikkim High Court, 2011)
  3. Justice J.B. Pardiwala (Gujarat High Court, 2015)
  4. Justice V. Ramaswami (Punjab & Haryana High Court, 1993)

Difference between the impeachment procedure of the President of India and Supreme Court/High Court Judges:
  • The Impeachment procedure for President is described under Article 61 of the constitution.
  • Whereas the impeachment procedure for Supreme Court/High Courts is given under Article 124(4).
  • The entire decision of impeaching the president is in the hands of Parliament.
  • On the other hand, the decision of impeaching Judges is in the hands of the President and Parliament.
  • The basic reason for impeachment of the President is his violation of the Constitution.
  • Whereas the reason for impeaching Judges is because of their incapacity or misbehavior. Both terms include a crime.
  • The biggest difference is that Impeachment of the President is a lengthy procedure as a result of which no President in India was impeached after its independence.
  • The procedure for impeaching Judges is a relatively easy and less lengthy process. As a result, the majority of impeached authorities are Judges.
  • One difference can be seen in the language of the Constitution. If we see carefully, we can observe the Constitution does not use the word Impeachment for judges. Instead, they use the word remove.
  • Each and every word of Article 61 is clearly defined in the Constitution. BUT In Article 124(4) of the constitution does not define these 2 words 'Misbehavior and Incapacity'.

This old French word has change the legal powers of India. It protect democracy and prevent from misusing of powers. President and Judges are the main authority who regulates law. So, it is necessary that law control them instead of they control law.

The only loophole of this unique concept is its lengthiness. Impeachment is a lengthy process for President. We have already discuss that no President in India face Impeachment since independence. All the people who faced impeachment are High court and Supreme Court judges.

It was 1st used as 'good parliament' in America.

Article 124(4) gives us the procedure for impeaching judges of Supreme Court and High Courts.

The President of India can be impeached under Article 61 of the constitution.

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