CJI impeachment notice rejected: What Congress, Shiv Sena leaders said

ANI | Updated: Apr 23, 2018 18:30 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 23 (ANI): Several political leaders on Monday reacted on the rejection of Congress-led opposition parties' impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra by Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Naidu on Monday said that the impeachment motion against CJI Misra lacked substantial facts to hold the latter guilty of misbehaviour.

Here are the reactions from Congress leaders and others:

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Rajya Sabha Chairman can't adjudge the motion, for he has no mandate to decide the merits of the motion.

Surjewala took to Twitter and wrote, "Constitutional process of impeachment is set in motion with 50 MP's giving the motion. RS Chairman can't adjudge the motion, for he has no mandate to decide the merits of the motion. This is truly a fight between forces 'Rejecting Democracy' and voices 'Rescuing Democracy'."

The Congress leader said that within hours of 64 MP's submitting the impeachment motion, Rajya Sabha leader (Finance Minister Arun Jaitley) had expressed naked prejudice by calling it a 'revenge petition' virtually dictating the verdict to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on that day.

"Within hours of 64 MP's submitting the impeachment motion, Leader of Rajya Sabha(Finance Minister Arun Jaitley) had expressed naked prejudice by calling it a 'revenge petition' virtually dictating the verdict to Rajya Sabha Chairman on that day. Has 'Revenge Petition' now become 'Rescue Order'?, he tweeted.

He further said that the Constitution should not be muzzled.

"RS Chairman can't decide on merits in absence of quasi judicial or administrative power (M.Krishna Swami's case). If all charges were to be proved before inquiry as RS Chairman suggests, Constitution & Judges (Inquiry) Act will have no relevance. Don't muzzle Constitution," he tweeted.

Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla said, "Honourable CJI who we know sits on PILs cannot sit on this particular motion to hear the matter because this involves him, so it will go to the second senior most judge who will now decide whether the honourable VP has the powers to reject the petition by 50 MPs , 64 in this case or not."

Poonawalla on Twitter wrote, "Surprise surprise !! Everybody knew the #ImpeachmentMotion would be rejected by #VenkaiahNaidu ji. More constitutional remedies are available including challenging this rejection in the SC. The #Impeachment grounds are not for the #VicePresident to decide upon."

"If the MPs move the hon. SC against this rejection of the #ImpeachmentMotion by the #VicePresident #VenkaiahNaidu ji the hon Chief Justice #DipakMisra will not be able to hear the plea or forward it to another bench . This will be decided by the next senior most judge," he tweeted.

Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant said that the way the impeachment notice was rejected is political and both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are playing dirty politics.

"Both the parties are playing dirty politics and the way the impeachment notice was rejected is also political. He could have waited, such hurry in rejection was not needed," Sawant told media.

Earlier in the day, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu rejected the Impeachment Motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra saying that the motion against CJI lacked substantial facts.

Naidu had said, "I have applied my mind to all five charges made out in Impeachment Motion and examined all annexed documents. All facts as stated in motion don't make out a case which can lead any reasonable mind to conclude that CJI on these facts can be ever held guilty of misbehaviour."

"After having perused annexures to the Motion and having detailed consultations and having studied opinions of constitutional experts I am satisfied that admission of this notice of Impeachment Motion is neither desirable nor proper," he said.

As per the Supreme Court officials, all judges of the apex court, including CJI Dipak Misra, held a 20-minute meeting, after the impeachment motion was rejected.

According to reports, Naidu, in his capacity as the Rajya Sabha Chairman, held broad consultations with legal and constitutional experts before coming to the conclusion.

The rejection of the notice comes a day after he held the consultations with such experts to determine the maintainability of the motion.

The Constitution says the CJI can be impeached only on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

On April 20, the opposition parties led by Congress moved the impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha, seeking the removal of CJI Misra under Article 217 read with article 124 (4) of the Constitution of India. The motion was signed by 64 sitting members of the House.

As per Article 124 (4), "A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity." (ANI)

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