Cong goes to SC, challenging Naidu's rejection of CJI impeachment petition,…

  • Cong goes to SC, challenging Naidu's rejection of CJI impeachment petition,…

Cong goes to SC, challenging Naidu's rejection of CJI impeachment petition,…

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court is all set to hear on Tuesday a petition moved by two Congress MPs challenging rejection of the impeachment notice against chief justice of India Dipak Misra by Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.

Naidu had on April 23, 2018, rejected the "impeachment" notice given by seven Opposition parties led by the Congress on five grounds of "misbehaviour".

The decision of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu is "illegal and arbitrary", says a petition by two Congress Parliamentarians.

Senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal, who settled the petition, asked senior apex court judge Justice Chelameshwar to set up a panel to hear the plea.

Sibal "requested" the court to pass some orders on when the petition is to be heard and who can hear the matter.

Sibal told the court that since the matter involved the Chief Justice of India, it could not be mentioned before him.

"We can not allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by any thought, word or action", said Naidu, ascribing his quick decision to the severity of the charges directed at the Chief Justice. Just Ice Sikri, who will venture to the seat, is number six in seniority.

The MPs, represented by advocate Sunil Fernandes, on Monday alleged that the Rajya Sabha Chairman acted in a "cavalier" manner by refusing to admit the notice of motion signed by over 50 MPs.

The MPs, Partap Singh Bajwa and Dr. Amee Harshadray Yajnik, signatories to the removal motion, said it was "strange" that Mr. Naidu deemed it fit to consult legal luminaries and constitutional experts but did not think it "appropriate and fit to consult the judges of the Supreme Court of India". I have practised in this court for the last 45 years and the procedure is that whenever there is a petition against the CJI, it is mentioned before the bench headed by the seniormost SC judge. "A person maynot be considered a judge in his own cause", he explained. The bench said it would give its decision on listing on Tuesday morning, which now stands pre-empted with the CJI setting up a five-judge bench headed by Justice Sikri and listing the petition before it.

It was also stated that if Naidu's order were to be accepted as legally correct, it would be tantamount to having a two- stage adjudicatory process with regard to a notice of motion filed under the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968.

It sought setting aside of the chairman's order terming the charges contained in the notice of motion are "extremely serious" and merit "a full-fledged inquiry to test their veracity".