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SC CJI recommends action against Allahabad HC judge

SC CJI recommends action against Allahabad HC judge

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Tuesday recommended the impeachment of Justice Shri Narayan Shukla, following a report against him by an in-house panel. The panel had been set up by the CJI. Mr Shukla is the eighth senior-most judge of the Allahabad High Court.

The CJI has written a letter to the Prime Minister for the impeachment of the judge. As per the impeachment practice, a motion for the same is first moved in Parliament, and then an investigation is conducted. If that leads to confirmation of the guilt, the impeachment motion will be put to vote for the removal of the judge by a majority.

The move for a possible impeachment of Justice Shukla began with Allahabad High Chief Justice D.B. Bhosale withdrawing judicial duties from him from January 23, 2018. This was after a report by a committee headed by Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee which went into the allegation about his suspicious transactions connected with cases on affiliation of private medical colleges. They were already under the scanner of the CJI bench last year.

Chief Justice Misra had expressed “shock” at an order passed by a Division Bench led by Justice Shukla on September 1, 2017, allowing G.C.R.G. Memorial Trust, based in Lucknow, in defiance of a clear restraining direction from the Supreme Court on August 28 to stop admissions for the academic session 2017-18.

Mr Shukla was also found by the Supreme Court to have even made some corrections to the September 1 order. On November 23, Chief Justice Misra, in a 14-page judgment, held that the Division Bench, led by Justice Shukla, had abandoned “the concept of judicial propriety” and transgressed judicial rules to “proceed on a path where it was not required to.” The CJI also made the observation that such acts caused ' institutional problems', and formed a committee under Justice Banerjee.

Justice Shukla was also heading the High Court Division Bench which passed an order on August 25, 2017 in the case of another banned medical college of Lucknow-based Prasad Education Trust, which led to a scandal that sent shock waves across the judiciary and compelled the CJI to re-affirm his authority as the master of the roster. Justice Shukla joined the Allahabad High Court in 2005 and was due to retire on July 17, 2020.

Justice Shukla’s Bench had, in an interim order, restrained the Medical Council of India from de-listing Prasad Education Trust’s medical college. The CBI which went into the case filed an FIR including the charge that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by officials of the Prasad Education Trust along with several persons, including I.M. Quddusi, retired judge of the Orissa High Court, to lift the ban on the college from admitting students for the couple of years.

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