New Delhi [India], Apr 20 (ANI): Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday termed the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra a revenge petition by the Congress and an attempt to intimidate a Judge.
Jaitley linked the Opposition parties' move to the Thursday order of the CJI-headed bench of the Supreme Court that dismissed the petitions seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT)-led probe into Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge B.H. Loya's death case.
"My preliminary reaction to the impeachment motion filed today is clear. It is a revenge petition after the falsehood of the Congress Party has been established in the Justice Loya death case. It is an attempt to intimidate a Judge and send a message to other Judges, that if you don't agree with us, fifty MP's are enough for a revenge action," Jaitley wrote in a post on Facebook.
Stating that impeachment of a Judge of the Supreme Court is to be done only in the case of either his "incapacity" or on "proven misconduct", Jaitley commented, "The Congress Party and its friends have started using impeachment as a political tool."
Jaitley further said that the charges levelled against the CJI were issues that have been settled by judicial orders or by precedent, and some issues were stale, trivial and had nothing to do with judicial functions.
In his attack, the Union Minister also took lawyers and media into the fold, saying that some lawyers who pick up causes in public interest and pursue them, have graduated into "Institution Disruptors", and have found strong allies in a section of the media and the Congress Party.
"They pick-up even false causes and pursue the falsehood with a sense of deep commitment, indulge in intimidating advocacy, are shrill with their opposing colleagues, are rude and impolite with the judges. They firmly believe that every falsehood that they propound must be accepted as the gospel truth," the post read.
"If intimidatory tactics of 'Institution Disruptors' and impeachment motion are threats to judicial independence, the single greatest threat is the divided court itself," Jaitley remarked.
Referring to the four senior judges of the top court who spoke against the CJI's conduct, at a press conference in January, Jaitley questioned, "Had they checked up the facts of Judge Loya case before commenting on it, even though only on a listing issue? Should anyone at all be commenting on pending case because many comments created an environment of prejudice and even added credibility to utter falsehood as they did in the present case? Is the impeachment motion filed today a direct result of the press conference? Does this impeachment set a precedent that political parties in India will use impeachment as an instrument to intimidate judges hearing controversial matters?"
Coming to the defence of BJP president Amit Shah who was alleged to have been involved in Justice Loya's death, Jaitley termed such allegations "a deliberately generated fake news where falsehood was manufactured to generate a massive public controversy."
"Never ever so blatantly in the past have national political parties, a few retired judges and some senior lawyers so closely identified themselves with the generation of falsehood that they almost come out as conspirators," he added.
Earlier in the day, the Opposition moved an impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha seeking the removal of CJI Dipak Misra under five listed grounds of misbehaviour. The motion was signed by 64 sitting members of the House. (ANI)