Just at a time when it appeared that controversy surrounding impeachment of Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, may be over and out, two Congress members of Parliament on Monday took the matter to the Supreme Court of India.
Just at a time when it appeared that controversy surrounding impeachment of Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, may be over and out, two Congress members of Parliament on Monday took the matter to the Supreme Court of India. The two leaders – Rajya Sabha MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik – moved the Supreme Court to challenge the rejection of the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by Rajya Sabha chairman on the ground that there was “no proved misbehavior”.
Interestingly, the matter was placed before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is also one of the signatories of the impeachment notice, mentioned the matter for urgent listing before the bench, which also comprised Justice S K Kaul. To this, the judges asked Sibal and Prashant Bhushan, to mention the matter before the Chief Justice of India for urgent listing. The bench also cited a Constitution bench judgment on powers of the master of roster.
Sibal contended that he was well aware of the master of the roster issue. He added the case concerns CJI himself and hence it could be listed before the second senior most judge. “I am aware of the procedure but it can’t be mentioned anywhere else. A person cannot be a judge in his own cause. I am just asking for urgent listing and not seeking any interim relief,” Sibal said.
Both Justice Chelameswar and Justice Kaul asked Sibal and Bhushan to come tomorrow so they could take a call on the issue.
As per Sibal, this type of situation had not arisen before and the court should first pass an order on who would deal with the matter. When Justice Kaul asked Sibal whether their plea had been numbered, Sibal replied they have filed a petition in the Registry but they are not willing to number it.
“The procedure of this court is very simple. I have practiced in this court for past 45 years. The Registrar can’t take orders from the CJI in this matter. The CJI can’t delegate its master of roster powers to the Registrar. All I am asking Justice Chelameswar to consider this,” Sibal told the court.
Justice Chelameswar replied he was on the verge of retiring. On the other hand, Bhushan contended that according to rules, the CJI is disabled to pass any order in the matter and only the senior-most judge can decide on listing of the petition.
On April 23, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had rejected an impeachment notice given by opposition parties’ MPs to sack Chief Justice of India. The notice had the support of MPs from seven opposition parties led by the Congress.