Congress set to move SC against rejection of CJI's impeachment motion

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra | You Tube screengrab

This comes after Congress and six other Opposition parties on Apr.20 moved a notice for the impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra, accusing him of five counts of "misbehaviour" and "misusing" authority.

The Congress party, which had spearheaded the Opposition's move for the Chief Justice's removal, has now indicated that it would move the Supreme Court in challenge against the Rajya Sabha chairman's decision.

"All India Congress Committee media-in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said that within hours of 64 MPs submitting the impeachment notice, Arun Jaitley, the Leader of Rajya Sabha, had expressed "naked prejudice" by calling it a revenge petition "virtually dictating the verdict" to the Rajya Sabha chairman on that day".

The Congress is refusing to take Naidu's order as the final word.

It was also argued that The Rajya Sabha Chairman could not reject the notice if it met the requirements of 50 signatures. News agency PTI quoted Sorabjee as saying: "He (Naidu) has gone into the matter and has found no merit and no ground for impeachment, therefore, he rejected it". He asserted that it will be ensured that the CJI is distanced from this petition.

Sixty-four MPs belonging to Congress, NCP, CPM, CPI, SP, BSP and IUML had in their notice seeking removal of CJI Misra, levelled allegations of corruption, impropriety and arbitrariness in allocation of cases as grounds. Sibal said the manner in which Naidu rejected their motion raises doubt "whether he even considered our petition".

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"The order is unprecedented, illegal, ill-advised and hasty", Sibal said, adding that it had been passed without a full-fledged enquiry.

Asking the lawyer if he thought that anybody would commit Sati after seeing the film, Chief Justice Misra said that women empowerment had increased in all these years.

Prashant Bhushan, senior lawyer, said "the vice-president has no power to say that charges are not made out". Various articles of the constitution seek to protect the independence of judiciary by providing appropriate safeguards against unwarranted interference either by Legislature or the Executive, with the Judges conditions of service and privileges incidental to the membership of the Constitutional Courts. The senior Congress leader went on to question the credibility of the order saying, "The Chairman's order says the charges are unverifiable".

In January 2010, an impeachment motion was moved against Karnataka High Court chief justice P D Dinakaran by Opposition parties.

Meanwhile, the rejection of the impeachment notice calls for a celebration for the BJP, who has been defending Dipak Misra.

According to the provisions in the handbook for Rajya Sabha members, no advance publicity should be given to any notice to be taken up in the House till it is admitted by the Chairman.

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