In a major turn of events in the CJI impeachment row, the Congress on Tuesday withdrew its petition which was filed against the rejection of impeachment notice moved by the party against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
The petition against Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the notice of impeachment was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday by Rajya Sabha MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik.
According to a PTI report, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was appearing for the MPs, asked who passed the order for setting up a five-judge bench to hear the matter. Sibal mentioned that the matter was listed before the five-judge bench through an administrative order and added that the CJI couldn’t pass such orders in this matter.
Sibal told the top court that they needed to have a copy of the order on setting up of bench as they might consider challenging it.
A Supreme Court bench of five judges was set up hear the petition filed by the Congress against the rejection of impeachment notice.
The Bench headed by Justice A K Sikri comprised of Justice S A Bobde, Justice N V Ramana, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice A K Goel.
The petition, filed by the Congress, had underlined that the motion was signed by more than 50 MPs, which was what was constitutionally required, and yet Naidu rejected it.
In its petition, the Congress said none of the “reasons given by the Chairman carry any weight or are legally tenable. It deserves to be set aside for being wholly extraneous and ultra vires to the provisions of the constitution and the Inquiry Act”.
Last month, Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu had rejected the Opposition’s notice for impeachment of CJI citing lack of substantial merit in it as the reason.
“Based on all this, I have come to the conclusion that this motion does not deserve to be admitted…On careful analysis and reflection, I find there is virtually no concrete verifiable imputation. We cannot allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by any thought, word or action,” he had said.
This was the first time ever that an impeachment notice has been filed against a sitting CJI.