NEW DELHI: The Congress said on Thursday the issue of CJI Dipak Misra’s impeachment was still open even as the party expressed concern over the functioning of the judiciary.
“We are very, very concerned about what is happening in court and we believe that the option that is available to us is still open,” Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal said when asked about the party’s stand on the issue.
Two weeks ago, Congress leaders in the Rajya Sabha had intensified their efforts to forge a consensus among Opposition parties to move an impeachment motion.
However, last week, party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge had said that the impeachment issue was closed in the Lok Sabha and was likely to be dropped in the Rajya Sabha as well.
“You require 50 signatures in the Rajya Sabha and 100 signatures in the Lok Sabha. That is all you require. The law does not say that every Opposition party must be represented, so I do not know, I think this is a question which is not relevant for the purposes of the motion,” Sibal said.
When asked to explain the delay in the matter, Sibal said an impeachment motion against a CJI was a serious issue and the Opposition was moving very carefully.
“What has come in the way? This is not some instant coffee. Please understand that we are dealing with an institution and I want to make it very clear that it will be a very sad day if the Opposition has to take that step, but that does not mean that the Opposition has foreclosed that option.”
"So, we have to wait, that is why it is not instant coffee. This is a serious matter and if we think about it, calmly, coolly, look at all the possible consequences and then come to a conclusion, you cannot say why have not you done it yesterday.”
Sibal agreed with the issues related to the functioning of the apex court raised by four senior judges earlier.
“Remember, we are as concerned about the independence of the judiciary as anybody else. We want to protect the institution; we means the people of India must protect this institution from the kind of gross interference by the government, and protected also from within.”