Legal experts divided on CJI impeachment

Vice President starts consultation process on 'impeachment' notice against CJI

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Rajya Sabha chairman, has rejected the opposition's notice for impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

"We will certainly move a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge this order. We would like that CJI does not hear it and even not decide the listing", Sibal said.

Asked what would the Congress do, if the Rajya Sabha Chairman rejects their notice, Congress MP and senior advocate Kapil Sibal on Friday said, "We will let you know then".

The motion was nothing but a move to embarrass and humiliate the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and, indirectly, the government.

The Vice President had consulted Attorney-General KK Venugopal, former law officer K Parasaran, retired Supreme Court judge Sudarshan Reddy, former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, former Law Secretary PK Malhotra and former Legislative Secretary of the Rajya Sabha Sanjay Singh while deciding on the impeachment motion, said news reports.

The chairman said that after having perused annexures to the motion, detailed consultations and studied opinions of constitutional experts, he was "satisfied that admission of this Notice of Motion is neither desirable nor proper on any of these grounds".

K.T.S. Tulsi, a renowned senior lawyer and one of the signatories of the impeachment motion, disagreed with the order of the Rajya Sabha Chairman, who on Monday rejected the motion.

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To this end, it had referred to the unprecedented drama fuelled at the Supreme Court in November previous year, with the Court annulling an order passed by a two-Judge Bench, after a rather forthright confrontation between the CJI and Advocate Prashant Bhushan. "Based on all this, I have come to conclusion that this motion does not deserve to be admitted", Naidu said in his order. "There was no mention at all of the impeachment issue", sources said.

The move not only diminishes the public's faith in the judiciary but could well open the door for the ruling party to move against a judge if it doesn't like a particular judgment, he said. I think this unprecedented order only shatters the confidence of people, destroys legitimate process of law. "But he has chosen not to do that", Sibal said. The motion needs to be referred to a three-member committee, which normally should include a Supreme Court judge, a high court chief justice and a jurist.

Nevertheless, the Opposition is keen to have the notice taken up in the Upper House. It seeks to hide and ensure that no inquiry takes place.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday rejected the Impeachment Motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.

It was also argued that The Rajya Sabha Chairman could not reject the notice if it met the requirements of 50 signatures.

The 20-minute-long discussion though not a usual morning meeting of the CJI with SC judges because in a regular affair meeting lasts no longer than five minutes.

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