NEW DELHI: Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a motion in Parliament for removal of Allahabad high court’s Justice S N Shukla, whose removal was recommended 18 months ago after an in-house panel found merit in charges of serious judicial irregularities. “You are requested to take further action in the matter,” CJI Gogoi has written to Modi, indicating that timely action against black sheep is necessary to root out graft in higher judiciary. He wrote the letter after he declined a request from Shukla for re-allocation of judicial work, which was withdrawn from him on January 22, 2018 after indictment by the panel. Previously, CJI Dipak Misra had recommended Shukla’s removal. The CJI informed the PM that “Justice Shukla has addressed a communication dated May 23, 2019 to me, forwarded by the CJ of Allahabad HC, requesting that he be allowed to discharge judicial work in the HC. As the allegations against Justice Shukla were found by the committee to be so serious as to warrant the initiation of proceedings for his removal, he cannot be allowed to resume judicial work in any HC. In these circumstances, you (PM) are requested to consider further action.” Based on the September 2017 complaint by UP advocate general Raghvendra Singh alleging malpractices against Shukla, then CJI Misra had set up an inquiry panel comprising then Madras HC CJ Indira Banerjee (now in the SC), then CJ of Sikkim HC Justice S K Agnihotri, and Justice P K Jaiswal of Madhya Pradesh HC to inquire into alleged favours shown to a medical college in extension of deadline for admission of students in violation of an SC order. The in-house panel concluded that “there is sufficient substance in the allegations against Justice Shukla and the aberrations are serious enough to call for initiation of proceedings for his removal”. It also said Shukla has “disgraced the ‘values of judicial life’, acted in a manner unbecoming of a judge” to lower the “majesty, dignity and credibility of his office” and acted in breach of his oath of office. Then CJI Misra had asked Shukla to either resign or take voluntary retirement. But he declined to do either, leading to Misra asking then Allahabad CJ D B Bhosale to immediately withdraw judicial work from him and simultaneously writing to the PM to initiate the removal process.