A Supreme Court bench of five judges will on Tuesday hear their petition filed by the Congress against the rejection of impeachment notice moved by the party against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The Bench headed by Justice A K Sikri will comprise Justice S A Bobde, Justice N V Ramana, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice A K Goel.
On Monday, Rajya Sabha MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik filed the petition against Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the notice of impeachment last month. Challenging the decision, the petition underlines 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”.
“The rejection seems to be motivated by political consideration beyond the constitutional scheme which is buttressed by the fact that one of the charges against the Chief Justice is that he has been partial in assigning political sensitive cases pertaining to the ruling party before particular benches of this Hon’ble Court in order to get a predetermined outcome,” claimed the petition.
“None of the reasons given by the chairman in the impugned order 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 of India and the Inquiry Act,” the petition added.
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.