Members of the Rajya Sabha have failed to introduce a motion to seek the impeachment of Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy, of the combined High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the second time.
This would be the second time in six months that the motion was not introduced, after a similar attempt by the MPs in December last year.
With the motion requiring the signatures of 50 MPs to be introduced, 54 members had supported the impeachment. However, nine out of 54 members of the upper house went on to withdraw their signatures. The Hindu quoted a Rajya Sabha member saying, "Some signatories to the petition have withdrawn their names. So, there is no motion for his removal."
During the first attempt last December, 61 MPs had supported the motion. But 21 signatories later reportedly conveyed to the Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari that they wanted to backtrack on the impeachment.
The case against Reddy pertains to alleged discrimination and victimisation against a Dalit judge.
A former principal junior civil judge from Andhra's Kadpa district, Ramakrishna, who is currently under suspension, alleged that Reddy had asked him to remove the name of one Pavan Kumar Reddy, from a dying declaration. But when Ramakrsihna refused to do so, he was allegedly abused and kicked by the High Court judge and later suspended.
Pavan is reported to be Reddy's brother and an additional public prosecutor at Rayachoty. The dying declaration was recorded by Ramakrishna when he was posted as a magistrate in the same area.
The dying declaration belonged to a victim of a red sanders smuggling case, who went on record before his death, and alleged that he was set on fire by Pavan Kumar Reddy.
The allegation is that Pavan was trying to cover up for a car seized with the illegal wood by authorities, and wanted the victim to 'own up' for the theft of the car.
It was further alleged that Pavan was able to operate with impunity, citing his brother's name.
According to a report in Livelaw, the first petition in the Rajya Sabha had also alleged that Justice Reddy abused his position to amass several movable and immovable properties worth several crores, and also that he had not disclosed his assets and liabilities, which was a violation of the rules.
According to reports, if the motion would have passed in the Rajya Sabha, the next step would involve constituting a three-member committee consisting of a sitting SC judge and a HC Chief Justice, who would send their final ruling to both the houses of Parliament for a vote.
If both houses agree with the ruling with two-thirds majority, then the judge would have been officially impeached.