Chief Justice of India impeachment: Stepping up pressure on the Chief Justice of India, senior Congress leader and noted advocate Kapil Sibal has decided not to appear in the court of Dipak Misra from Monday, according to The Indian Express report. This comes even as Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu yesterday set in motion the process of consultation on the impeachment notice against and held discussions with a number of constitutional and legal experts, including Attorney General K K Venugopal, and former top law officer K Parasaran. It has been learnt that Misra’s removal was sought by Sibal and 63 others.
“I will not appear in the Chief Justice’s court from tomorrow onwards… till he retires, because that is consistent with the highest standards of my profession. If he (the CJI) continues (in office) till he retires, and if an inquiry is set up, till he recuses. We believe in maintaining standards,” Sibal said.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, “We did not even ask Mr Chidambaram to sign because there are cases pending and I am there his counsel. In fact, it is a great loss for him because I cannot appear anymore in that court.”
“He (Naidu) has no jurisdiction. He cannot decide on the merits of the motion. He can only decide on the procedure. So the provision in the Judges (Inquiry) Act for him to either dismiss or admit, relates to only whether 50 members have signed, their signatures are there and motion is in order. He is to refer that matter to the Judges (Inquiry) Committee for decision on the merits. He has no role to play as far as the merits are concerned… He can’t dismiss it. It’s not permissible under the Constitution. He can dismiss it provided 50 members are not there, provided the charges are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution. But otherwise he cannot. He cannot say this is not enough. He is not a quasi-judicial authority to decide on the motion. That’s for the Judges (Inquiry) Act,” Sibal said.