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CJI Impeachment notice rejection: Congress to challenge Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu's order in Supreme Court

The Congress will challenge Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the impeachment notice served against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the Supreme Court. 

Published: 24th April 2018 02:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2018 02:21 AM   |  A+A-

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Congress leader Kapil Sibal addresses a press conference after opposition parties submitted a notice to the Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu to initiate impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in New Del

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Congress will challenge Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the impeachment notice served against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the Supreme Court.  

“The chairman’s order is unconstitutional as he rejected the charges against CJI even before an expert panel examined them,” Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal said.

“We will challenge the order in the Supreme Court,” he added.According to Sibal, a former law minister, Naidu’s order was “unprecedented, illegal, ill-advised and hasty” as such a motion has never been dismissed in the past.

The Rajya Sabha chairman did not ask a three-member expert panel to probe the charges, Naidu did not discuss the charges with any SC judge, and that the “tearing hurry” behind the rejection was inexplicable, he said.

ALSO READ | Eminent jurists, ex-judges didn't find fault with Venkaiah Naidu's rejection of impeachment notice against CJI Dipak Misra

“It seems the government is not keen that the charges against the CJI be investigated. Perhaps they know the CBI has some evidence,” said Sibal.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. | PTI

Noting Naidu’s move shattered the confidence of the people in democracy, Sibal wondered how the chairman could assume that the 64 lawmakers, who signed the petition, did not apply their mind over the charges amde against the CJI.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal
addresses a press conference in
New Delhi on Monday | Shekhar Yadav

Further, he said, bringing such a motion was the privilege of the members and the Rajya Sabha chairman could not boot that privilege.

The Congress leader expressed hope that their petition before the Supreme Court is not dealt by the CJI himself.  Since the case pertains to the sitting CJI, any possible petition against the order of the chairman to reject the motion can’t be heard by a bench of which the CJI himself is a part.

Ideally, the matter would then go to another bench to be headed by the second senior-most judge — Jasti Chelameswar — who was one of the four top judges of the apex court to come out and hold a press conference against the conduct of CJI Misra. 

In previous cases, the judge against whom an impeachment motion was moved had recused himself from hearing cases, but this isn’t codified either.Congress veteran and senior SC advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that Naidu’s order was on expected lines.

“Expectedly, Naidu rejected impeachment motion. Unexpectedly, he did so within a day of returning from outstation. Hopefully, the alacrity was not intended to render infructuous calls for CJI to stop administrative work,” Singhvi tweeted.Sibal reiterated that he will not attend the CJI’s court as a mark of protest. Noting it was not a party affair, he said, “We are fighting a battle of principles. We are fighting for truth, transparency, accountability and rule of law.”

Panel ought to have been constituted: Yechury 
Reacting to Naidu’s order rejecting the impeachment notice moved by Rajya Sabha lawmakers, Sitaram Yechury said the chairman has bypassed all laid down constitutional procedures.

He added that a panel ought to have been constituted for examining the charges. 



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