New Delhi: Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Monday rejected the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, moved by seven opposition parties a few days ago. The decision came after Naidu cut short his trip to Telangana on Sunday and returned to the national capital to consult with a number of constitutional and legal experts on the impeachment motion against the CJI. In a blow to the Congress party that had led the opposition parties in making the unprecedented move of submitting an impeachment motion against the CJI, the Vice President reportedly said that there was “no merit” in the charges leveled against CJI Misra and hence rejected the petition.
Meanwhile, sources told Times Now that the opposition parties were mulling the option of taking a legal recourse in the matter, as the impeachment motion was rejected by the Vice President. Calling VP Naidu’s decision as “astounding” and “unconstitutional”, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, “ It is astounding that the V-P would reject such kind of motion. The decision is illegal, malafide and unconstitutional,” Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi also took on V-P Naidu and tweeted, “Expectedly, Sh Naidu rejected imp’ment motion. Unexpectedly, he did so within one day of returning from outstn. Hopefully, the alacrity was not intended to render infructuous calls for CJI to stop Admn work (sic).
In the 22-point order rejecting the motion, Naidu wrote, “Clearly this is an internal matter to be resolved within the Supreme Court itself. Going through the five allegations mentioned in the notice, I am of the view that they are neither tenable nor admissible.” Hailing the Vice President’s decision, the Bharatiya Janata Party stated that impeachment “cannot be based on allegations.”
On Sunday, Naidu held consultations with several legal luminaries, including Attorney General K K Venugopal, former top law officer K Parasaran and former Supreme Court judge B Sudarshan Reddy. Sources had told news agency IANS that the Vice President was “unhappy” with the opposition parties’ decision to publicise the issue and approach the media after submitting their impeachment motion to him.
On Friday, seven opposition parties, led by the Congress party, submitted a petition for the impeachment motion seeking removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on grounds of ‘misbehavior’. A delegation of the opposition parties, headed by veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, met the Rajya Sabha chairman today to submit the said petition. Addressing the press conference later, Azad said that 71 MPs had signed the petition backing the impeachment move, though seven of the MPs had now retired. The petition mentioned five charges against the CJI, based on which the opposition parties had moved the impeachment motion.