The Congress will challenge in the Supreme Court Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the impeachment notice served against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that the charges against the CJI are very grave and it appears the government is not keen on an inquiry. “We’ll certainly file a petition (in Supreme Court) against this and would want the CJI to not take any decision with respect to it, be it the listing or anything else, we’ll accept whatever SC decides,” he said.
Naidu rejected the notice earlier today after holding extensive consultations with legal and constitutional experts. “In the absence of credible and verifiable information placed before me which gives an indication of ‘misbehaviour’ or ‘incapacity’, it would be an inappropriate and irresponsible act to accept statements which have little empirical basis. As heirs to an illustrious democratic tradition and custodians of the present and future of democratic polity, we should, in my view, collectively strengthen and not erode the foundations of the grand edifice bequeathed to us by the Constitution makers. We cannot allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by an thought, word or action. ..In the end after having perused annexures to the motion and having detailed consultations and having studied the opinions of Constitutional experts, I am satisfied that admission of this Notice of Motion is neither desirable nor proper,” Naidu wrote in a 10-page order refusing to admit the notice of the motion.
Last week, a delegation of representatives from seven Opposition parties, led by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, asked Chairman Naidu to initiate impeachment proceedings against CJI Misra. The notice was signed by 54 Rajya Sabha members and seven former MPs from Congress, SP, BSP, IUML, NCP, CPI(M) and CPI. After meeting Naidu and submitting the notice for impeachment, they held a press conference where they discussed its contents but did not release the document.