NEW DELHI: Rebutting criticism that his decision to disallow the notice for a motion to impeach Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was taken in a tearing hurry without adhering to norms, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday asserted he had been tracking the issue for over a month and that he meticulously followed the rule book.
Naidu, while expressing satisfaction over the outcome of the exercise in disposing of the notice signed by 64 MPs of the Rajya Sabha belonging to seven Opposition parties, said due diligence was observed and wide consultations were held before arriving at the decision.
Naidu opened his mind when a group of 10 senior lawyers of the Supreme Court called on him on Tuesday to compliment on his quick decision in rejecting the impeachment motion. “I have done my job and am satisfied with it... It (decision) was timely and not a hasty one,” Naidu told the lawyers.
Naidu told them that he had been convinced there should be a quick decision on such a matter of grave importance given the implications for the institution of judiciary. “I had a Constitutional obligation, which I have fulfilled. The MPs too have their rights to express their views on the matter,” Naidu said.
While the notice was actually submitted by the Opposition MPs last Friday, the fact that they had been working on it for the last few weeks was common knowledge. And, Naidu had enough time to examine the procedures involved in addressing such a motion in the event of it being submitted.
“A clear responsibility was cast on the Chairman in this regard and it would not be correct to interpret the role of Chairman as that of mere post office,” he told the lawyers who called on him on Tuesday.On Monday, the Opposition MPs had criticised the Rajya Sabha Chairman for taking a ‘hasty’ decision in disposing of their notice for impeachment of the CJI in a matter of 72 hours. The Congress has stated that the party would move court to challenge the Rajya Sabha chairman’s decision. Naidu had on Monday rejected the notice, saying it was an attempt to vitiate the atmsphere and undermine the independence of the judiciary.
Jaitley targets lawyer MPs
A day after Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu rejected the notice for a motion of impeachment of the Chief Justice of India, finance minister Arun Jaitley trained his guns on ‘eminent lawyers’ who are Members of Parliament for dragging “intra-court disputes” into the parliamentary process.
In a Facebook post, he said, “Most political parties have given nominations to some of them since their value, both in court and Parliamentary debates, is significant.”
He said the downside of having too many lawyer MPs is that it could result in some misadventures like “misconceived impeachment motion”.