The Congress is seeking to build a larger consensus among opposition parties on moving an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
The Congress is seeking to build a larger consensus among opposition parties on moving an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and the issue has been pushed to the back burner for now following differences within the opposition camp, party sources said today. According to the sources, the Congress party’s top leaders who are spearheading the move to bring an impeachment motion against the CJI are concerned over the retirement of some of the Rajya Sabha members, who had signed the notice, and are recalculating the numbers.
The reluctance on the part of some parties to sign on the motion and some even backing out after committing their support is also an area of concern and all these factors are being looked into, they said. Meanwhile, top Congress leaders are continuing to hold talks with opposition leaders as some of them have reservations on the issue of moving the impeachment motion, which will be the first against any CJI. Asked at the AICC briefing, Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said, “It is a matter of discussion among political parties and cannot be talked about in press conferences. Whenever a decision to this effect will be taken, you will be informed.”
On statements of some senior leaders of the party that the matter stands closed, Sharma said the Congress had never said that the matter is open or closed. Party spokesperson Raj Babbar, when asked yesterday about the issue, had said, “The entire opposition is in discussion on the issue.” “I cannot give a reply and the way forward on the issue today as it can only be given by the leaders of various parties including the Congress,” he had said.
Leaders of various opposition parties were yesterday in active discussion over moving an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India and held hectic parleys over the issue. Top legal hands and MPs of the Congress including some former ministers also held separate meetings on the issue. In another meeting, top Congress leaders are learnt to have discussed the issue with TMC leaders, though both the parties avoided saying anything. Discussions with some other opposition parties were also held.
Sources say that though the numbers are not an issue, the differences within the opposition on political ramifications of the move are being discussed. The sources said there is ambiguity on the issue within the Congress too as some top leaders are not comfortable about moving the motion against the CJI. Though former Union minister Kapil Sibal is in favour of moving the motion, two former law ministers Ashwani Kumar and Veerappa Moily are not for it, the sources said.
Once the notice for impeachment is handed over to the Rajya Sabha chairman carrying signatures of at least 50 MPs of the Upper House, the chairman will examine its merits and may reject it if there is no merit found. Otherwise, if the chairman, prima facie, finds merit in the motion, he can refer it to a three-member committee for further examination, an expert said. If it does happen, it will be the first time an impeachment motion against the sitting Chief Justice of India will be moved in the country’s history. The Chief Justice of India, who is likely to hand down some key judgements in the coming months including the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya, retires in October this year.