Decision to reject impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dipak Misra is ‘illegal and arbitrary’, Congress told SC.
NEW DELHI — Two weeks after the Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice-President of India Venkaiah Naidu rejected the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra citing “no proof of misconduct” by him as alleged by the Opposition parties, the Congress has challenged the rejection in the Supreme Court on Monday.
The decision of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is “illegal and arbitrary”, said the Congress, according to a report.
Two Congress MPs, Pratap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik, Rajya Sabha members from the Congress, approached the Supreme Court challenging Naidu’s dismissal of the impeachment motion against Dipak Misra, ANI reported.
The petitioner MPs of Congress in their joint petition said that once a removal motion is signed by the requisite number of MPs the Rajya Sabha chairman has no option but to constitute an inquiry committee to investigate the charges against the CJI.
“None of the reasons given by the Chairman (Venkaiah Naidu)… carry any weight or are legally tenable. It deserves to be set aside for being wholly extraneous and ultra vires to the provisions of the constitution and the Inquiry Act,” says the Congress petition.
The petitioners sought a direction from the Supreme Court to the RS chairman to immediately constitute an inquiry committee under the Judges Inquiry Act to probe the charges against CJI mentioned in the removal motion.
On April 20, as many as 64 MPs belonging to seven political parties signed the notice for removal proceedings against the CJI. They include MPs from the Congress, the NCP, CPM, the CPI, the SP, the BSP and the Muslim League.
On April 23, Naidu, acting in his authority as the Rajya Sabha chairman, had rejected the notice for impeachment of CJI Misra.
The motion “doesn’t deserve to be admitted”, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said, just three day after the opposition submitted the petition.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is also one of the signatories of the impeachment notice, mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar.
The bench, also comprising Justice S K Kaul, asked Sibal and advocate Prashant Bhushan to mention the matter before the chief justice of India for urgent listing, citing a Constitution bench judgment on powers of master of roster, reports PTI.
Sibal said he was aware of the constitution bench judgment on master of roster, and added that since the impeachment notice concerns the CJI the senior-most judge of the apex court can order for listing.