NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed anguish over the events surrounding the discussion about the proposed impeachment of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra in the public.
“We are very disturbed about what has been happening...it is very unfortunate what is happening,” the bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said, while hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘In Pursuit of Justice’ that sought a restraint against the legislators as well as the media to discuss a proposed removal motion.
The SC bench also sought the assistance of Attorney General KK Venugopal in the matter.The observation assumes significance as it comes on a day when the Congress and other Opposition parties submitted a notice to initiate impeachment proceedings against the CJI. The Opposition move comes a day after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Special CBI judge BH Loya.Appearing for the NGO, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora submitted that a judge cannot act fearlessly if such discourse takes place while he is in office and the removal motion has not even been brought.
“Under Article 121, even parliamentarians are restricted to discuss the conduct of a judge up to a certain stage. How can these legislators, as private citizens, talk about the same issue as and when they want?” Arora contended.On this, the bench said the law was very clear and everyone was supposed to know the law.
“Even the legislature should know the law. It is still happening. The question is what can we do now?”
The counsel, however, said a judge has to perform his duties “fearlessly” and such public statements cannot be made by the politicians like this.The lawyer, then, requested the bench, “please restrain the media”.To this, the Supreme Court said it would not do so without hearing the Attorney General and posted the matter for hearing on May 7.
The plea, filed by the NGO, has sought laying down of guidelines or modalities regulating procedure to be followed by parliamentarians , desirous of initiating proceedings for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or a high court, prior to initiating a motion under Article 124(4) and (5) and 217(1)(b) of the Constitution. (With Agency inputs)