West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the Congress party was wrong in moving the impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra and she had warned both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul about it. “Congress was wrong to move impeachment notice against CJI Dipak Misra. The Congress wanted us to support it. But we did not,” the TMC chief told a news channel a day after Naidu rejected the impeachment notice citing “absence of credible and verifiable information” on proved “misbehaviour or incapacity”. “I told Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi not to go for impeachment,” Banerjee said, adding that her party did not want to interfere in the judiciary.
The notice to impeach the CJI has been rejected by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. Upset with the vice-president’s decision, the Congress now plans to approach the Supreme Court. On Monday, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the rejection of the notice was “illegal”, “unconstitutional” and “hasty”. Naidu, however, defended his decision to reject the notice saying it was “timely and not hasty”. It came after over a month of due diligence and in strict conformity with the provisions of the Constitution and the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968, he said.
When the plan for moving a motion to impeach the CJI was taking shape, Banerjee had told reporters in March that the party would go with others on impeachment, but did a volte-face thereafter. Trinamool sources had said none of the two lawyers in the party, Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Lok Sabha MP Kalyan Banerjee, were amenable to the idea of impeachment.