The opposition's impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra was signed by 64 Upper House MPs. But Venkaiah Naidu rejected it on grounds that it lacked substantial merit and it was based on assumption rather than factual proof.
Two Congress Rajya Sabha MPs have moved the Supreme Court contesting Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the opposition’s impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra. The two MPs are Pratap Singh Bajwa (Punjab) and Amee Harshadray Yajnik (Gujarat).
In their petition, the two have questioned Naidu’s authority to reject the motion. They have argued that when notice is signed by requisite number of lawmakers, the Rajya Sabha Chairman has ‘no option but to constitute an inquiry committee to probe all charges levelled against the CJI’.
Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar. The bench, also comprising Justice SK Kaul, asked Sibal and advocate Prashant Bhushan to mention the matter before the CJI for urgent listing. It cited a Constitution bench judgment on powers of master of roster. Sibal is also one of the signatories of the impeachment notice.
To this, Sibal said that he was aware of the procedure but since the impeachment notice concerns the CJI, the senior-most judge of the apex court can order for listing. “A person cannot be a judge in his own cause. I am just asking for urgent listing and not seeking any interim relief,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Naidu, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, had last month rejected the opposition parties’ impeachment notice against the CJI. The V-P’s rejection had triggered a row, with the opposition alleging he had exceeded his authority. The opposition has been maintaining that when a motion is signed by requisite MPs, the Chairman has no right to reject it.
The opposition’s impeachment motion was signed by 64 Upper House MPs. But Naidu rejected it on grounds that it lacked substantial merit and it was based on assumption rather than factual proof.
The impeachment motion can be initiated when at least 50 MPs of Rajya Sabha (100 in the case of Lok Sabha) give a signed notice to the presiding officer.