Judges row: Opposition backs judges but no finality on impeaching
By Amit Agnihotri & Richa Sharma | Express News Service | Published: 13th January 2018 08:03 AM |
NEW DELHI: The Opposition threw its weight behind the four Supreme Court judges but had no final view on bringing an impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra. The Congress said the issues raised by the four judges were “unprecedented, extremely disturbing” and had far reaching consequences for democracy and independence of judiciary.
Sources said some in the opposition were exploring an impeachment motion against Justice Misra but are yet to receive a nod from the Congress. “There has been exchange of thoughts on the issue (impeachment) and it has to be done soon, if we want to move it,” sources said.
A motion for impeachment in the Rajya Sabha requires signatures of 50 members, while in the Lok Sabha, the signature of 100 members is needed. Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman should find merit in the motion and admit it.
The Congress said the issues raised by the four judges were “unprecedented, extremely disturbing” and had far-reaching consequences for democracy and independence of judiciary. Noting that non-finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure has left nearly 40 per cent of the sanctioned posts of the judges vacant, the Congress appealed the full court of the Supreme Court to take up the issues raised by the four judges.
On assignment of cases, the Congress said that established conventions and traditions must be followed and selective assignment of cases must be stopped. Cases that have far reaching implications to society and governance must be heard, in accordance with well established conventions, by the senior most judges of the Supreme Court, the party said.
Referring to the PIL about the death of Judge Loya, which his family believes was under suspicious circumstances, the Congress said the matter must be entrusted to the senior-most judges of the apex court who should ensure a thorough and impartial probe by an independent Special Investigation Team.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi called it “unprecedented”. All citizens who love the idea of justice, believe in the Supreme Court, are looking at this issue. It is important that it is addressed,” he said. They (the judges) mentioned that there is a threat to democracy. It needs to be looked into carefully.”
“The integrity and independence of judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, is a vital pillar of the Constitution and non-negotiable. It is to be hoped that all such issues will be resolved keeping in mind the principles of democratic functioning and transparency regarding the highest court of the land,” said the CPI(M).
“This cannot but merit a thorough investigation and understanding of how independence and integrity of judiciary is being interfered or is being affected, which is impermissible in a secular democratic republic,” said party general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Raja-Chelameswar meet irks Opposition CPI leader D Raja met Justice
J Chelameswar at his residence, inviting criticism from the Opposition. “Everyone is worried about democracy and I am not giving any political colour to it,” Raja said after the meeting. A senior Opposition leader said that he disassociates with Raja’s decision to meet the judge. “I have the greatest regard for D Raja Sahib but his meeting Justice Chelameswar was hasty and ill considered. Plays in to the hands of those who want to discredit what the Honorable judges said/did,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted.