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Q. Brazil’s President Impeachment trial: Discuss the ongoing impeachment trial of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and also outline impeachment process of Indian President and Prime Minister.
May 13, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently first women Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended from the post of president to face impeachment trial after both houses of parliament approved for beginning of impeachment proceedings by overwhelming majority. Vice-president of Brazil Michel Temer has assumed the Presidential power of Brazil.

Issue-


The Brazilian government under Dilma Rousseff has been accused of administrative misconduct and disregarding the federal budget. The main charge is of ‘fiscal peddling’ i.e manipulating of accounts through which the government gives the impression that it received more money than was spent, when the reality is said to be the opposite.

Background and process of impeachment-

  • The impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff in late 2015 when the president of the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) accepted the impeachment request against Rousseff and the special committee was formed in the Chamber of Deputies to decide on its admissibility.

  • The special committee began with the testimony of the members who raised the request and it was also followed by a presentation of Rousseff's defense.

  • The special committee with majority of deputies approved the impeachment request.

  • Both houses of Brazilian Parliament (National Congress of Brazil), i.e chamber of deputies  and Federal senate (the upper house) were passed approved for beginning of impeachment proceedings by overwhelming majority. (Note- to begin impeachment proceedings against President it requires simple majority approval by both houses of Parliament).

  • Now she has been suspended from performing presidential powers and duties up to 180 days.

  • Now trial for impeachment has begun and it may few months. After trial there is need of two-thirds majority by both the houses separately to impeach the President.

Comparison of process of impeachment with India.

President of India-

  • Article 61 of the India has provided details of the process of impeachment of President of India.

  • The President of India can be impeached for the violation of the Constitution, which is solely to be decided by the Parliament.

  • The impeachment can originate in any of the houses of India Parliament after resolution supported by not less than 25% of the members of the House passed and it should moved only after a prior notice of 14 days to the President

  • The impeachment procedure is quasi-judicial in nature because after a Resolution to this effect is passed by the originating House, by a 2/3rd majority of the strength of the House, the other House sets up a Committee to investigate the charges against the President.

  • The President can defend himself by taking service of the Attorney-General of India or any other lawyer of his choice.

  • If the second House also passes the Resolution with the same 2/3rd majority of the strength of the House, the President stands impeached.

Prime Minister of India-

As such there is no provision of impeachment against the prime Minister of India. According to article 75 of India Constitution, Council of ministers headed Prime Minister is collectively responsible to the Loksabha (the lower house). Hence Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister can be removed from office by the Loksabha after passing no confidence motion with simple majority.


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