NEW DELHI: A day after MPs of the opposition parties led by the Congress decided to challenge Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s rejection of the notice seeking the impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it “as a suicidal future move of the Congress”.
Noting a growing trend of “intra-court disputes being dragged into the Parliamentary process” by lawyers-turned-Parliamentarians, he opined that the notice had been filed for collateral purpose to intimidate the CJI and other judges of the highest judiciary.
He underlined that there is a conventional view that the exercise of the discretion by the Chair of either House (of Parliament) is not justifiable in the court of law. Jaitley referred to the observations made in the majority opinion of Justice J S Verma in the 1992 case (Sarojini Ramaswami vs. UOI) to substantiate his claims.
“On initiation of the process in the prescribed manner, the Speaker/Chairman is to decide whether the accusations require investigations. If he chooses not to act on the accusations made in the form of a motion by a minimum number of Members of Parliament, the matter ends there,” Jaitley quoted.
The minister stressed that for the Congress to carry forward its mistake of subjecting legislative processes to judicial review would be a blunder. Pinning the blame on lawyer-turned-politicians, he noted that “the incidental impact of this has been a growing tendency of lawyer members to drag intra-court disputes into the Parliamentary process”.
He drew parallel with the practice of the businessmen and industrialists influencing the policy making through the Parliamentary processes.
Arguing that the Opposition MPs had signed the notice with misconceived notions, Jaitely said: “An impeachment motion was intended to be filed in the rarest of rare cases. These cases would include those where a gross misconduct has been indulged in by a delinquent judge during his tenure as a judge. There has to be strong and hard evidence.”
Claiming that the object was not the passage of the motion but intimidation of judiciary, Jaitely stated that the Congress is capable of dragging judges into an unsavoury controversy and make them controversial, should their judicial opinion not appear favourable in the cases in which the party has an interest.
Key points from Jaitley’s blog
Attributes the notice against CJI Dipak Misra to the lawyers-politicians in the opposition
Notes a growing tendency of lawyer members to drag intra court disputes into the parliamentary process
Claims that the main objective was not the passage of the motion but intimidation of judiciary