THE CONGRESS on Sunday said it has not violated any rules by disclosing the contents of the notice for removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and recalled that the BJP and CPM had similarly revealed the nature of the motion they had moved against Justice P D Dinakaran in 2009. The BJP was then in the opposition.
“There is no rule of procedure in Parliament which restricts the right to discuss the motion of impeachment after it has been presented to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha rules do not have any such restriction,” said nominated Rajya Sabha MP K T S Tulsi, who addressed a press conference along with fellow MP and Congress legal department head Vivek Tankha.
The Congress claimed that the BJP has become “very active” after the notice was submitted to Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu. “One minister even said that it is an insult to Odisha. The Chief Justice of India is not of Odisha alone. He is the Chief Justice of India…. Another minister in his blog questioned disclosure of the contents… we want to ask that minister how did he go to the media on December 15, 2009,” Tankha said. He said the Handbook for Members of Rajya Sabha is not a rule book. “Handbook is a guideline, it is not a rule. Freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Constitution is above this rule and handbook,” he said.
Elaborating, Tulsi said on December 15, 2009 the motion seeking removal of Justice Dinakaran was presented to the Rajya Sabha Chairman. “And immediately thereafter the then Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and the then leader of CPM Sitaram Yechury… immediately within minutes went out and addressed the media about the nature of the motion and why it was imperative for them to present the motion. So that is the precedent,” he said.
“It is completely erroneous to believe that there is a either a breach of a rule or breach of any etiquette. The matter is so serious that it was necessary for us to bring the truth before the people of the country. The people have a the right to know and we had a duty to disclose. In the absence of any authentic information being provided, there are too many rumours that are spread which is not good either in the interest of the institution or to the high office of the Chief Justice of India. So, therefore, it was necessary for us to accurately place before the nation the matter,” Tulsi said.
He said the nature of charges are so serious “that the inquiry should be ordered at the earliest and only then we will be able to protect the dignity of the high office of the CJI and we will be able to protect the dignity of the court as a whole”.
Tankha said there is no need for one party to defend the CJI. “If you are seen as defending him too much, then you are dishonouring him and the post he is occupying. He will feel insulted,” he added.