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Justice Loya verdict: Opposition leaders to discuss impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra, to meet Venkaiah Naidu today

In the wake of the Supreme Court's rejection of an independent probe into Justice Loya's death, Opposition leaders led by Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad will renew their bid for impeachment of the CJI.

Published: 20th April 2018 11:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2018 11:25 AM   |  A+A-

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (File | PTI)

By Online Desk

Dejected by the Supreme Court order rejecting an independent probe into Justice B H Loya’s death, the Opposition will renew their efforts towards impeachment of Chief Justice Dipak Misra. According to sources, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to meet Opposition leaders today afternoon to take the matter forward.

Opposition parties including the Congress, the NCP, the Left parties, the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and some others will meet in Parliament to give final shape to the proposed impeachment motion.

Thereafter, the opposition parties will meet Venkaiah Naidu, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and are likely to submit the same today itself, the sources said. A time has already been sought from the Chairman, they said.

Sources said the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, which were initially in favour of the impeachment against the CJI, are no longer part of it.

An impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha has to be supported by a total of at least 50 MPs of the Upper House, while the number of MPs supporting such a motion in the Lok Sabha is 100.

Once the notice for an impeachment motion is submitted to the Rajya Sabha chairman, he will ascertain whether there is merit or ground for moving such a motion.

In case he finds merit, then he may form a committee to look into it, else he can reject it.

If moved, this will be the first time ever in the country's history that an impeachment would be moved against the Chief Justice of India.

Over the past few weeks, Opposition leaders had been discussing ways to bring the impeachment motion to fruition even as no clear line of thought emerged within the Congress on how to go about it.

A case in point was Congress party spokesperson and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal saying the “CJI impeachment” issue was still open, days after party leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said it had been dropped.

Party insiders said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who had been discussing the issue with senior party leaders, too was concerned over the SC order. Rahul had earlier led a group of Opposition leaders to petition President Ram Nath Kovind and demand a fair probe into the death of Loya.

“Indians are deeply intelligent. Most Indians, including those in the BJP, instinctively understand the truth about Amit Shah. The truth has its own way of catching up with people like him,” Rahul tweeted.

The Congress said it respected the SC but disagreed with its order. The SC order is seen as a clean chit to BJP chief Shah, who was accused in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case which was being heard by Judge Loya before he died. “Only a probe can establish if Judge Loya’s death was natural or not,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

The SC judgement was delivered by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India.

In its order yesterday, the apex court said the judge died of natural causes and the PILs were “veiled attempts to launch a frontal attack on the independence of the judiciary and to dilute the credibility of judicial institutions”. The petitions had raised questions about the circumstances that led to the death of the judge in 2014 when he was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter killing case in Gujarat.

The bench expressed concern over the practice of ‘brazen misuse of PILs’ by ‘persons with personal agenda’ and noted that the system had become a tool for advocates seeking publicity and was ‘used by petitioners at the behest of business or political rivals to settle scores’. It said, Loya’s death shall be put to rest and no other court shall entertain any plea in this regard.

(With inputs from Amit Agnihotri and PTI)

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