TMC, AIADMK, DMK,BJD , RJD,TRS Are Yet To Support Congress Led Impeachment Move Against The Chief Justice of India

RULING NDA headed by BJP remains unperturbed after seven opposition parties led by the Congress submitted a petition to Vice President M Venkaiah Nadu on Friday seeking impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra listing five allegations against the lawyer turned judge from Odisha. The petition is signed by Rajya Sabha Members belonging to the Congress, AAP, Samajwadi Party, CPI, CPI-M Bahujan Samajwadi party and IMUL besides an nominated Member. The Vice President, who is the Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, is expected to consult legal luminaries on the admissibility of the unprecedented motion being sought to be raised for the first time against serving CJI .The signatories include some senior Advocate practising in the country’s highest court. The impeachment notice comes a day after the Supreme Court rejected a bunch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge B H Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in a CBI court located in Mumbai. Asked why former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram are not among the signatories to the impeachment motion notice, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal said there was no “division” within the Congress and no lack of consensus among the Opposition parties over the issue. “Since the issue dealt with the Constitution, we have deliberately not included Dr Manmohan Singh, as he is a former prime minister. With regard to some others, whose cases are going on, we did not wish to embarrass them,” Sibal told reporters. The impeachment move was condemned by the Bharatiya Janata Party, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accusing the Congress and its friends of using impeachment as a “political tool”. He termed the notice a “revenge petition” after the Supreme Court’s judgment on Judge Loya death case “exposed” the conspiracy of falsehood. The Trinamool Congress, Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik headed Biju Janata Dal, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and some other parties have backed out from supporting the move.Earlier, the Supreme Court sought Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal’s advice on restraining the media from publishing such “scandalous” stories against the judiciary. Jharkhand CM flays Congress for impeachment motion against CJI saying: “On behalf of the 3.25 crore people of Jharkhand, we admonish this act of the Congress…. The Congress is in desperation and frustration,” Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said.  Meanwhile, The Supreme Court has dubbed as “unfortunate” the public statements made by politicians on the issue of the impeachment of members of the higher judiciary. “It is unfortunate. We are all disturbed over what is happening,” Justice A.K. Sikri, who was on the Division Bench, said. Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora told the apex court that politicians were making all kinds of public statements on the removal of a Judge without any motion to this effect before Parliament. She averred that there can be no discussion and the issue of impeachment cannot be made public till a certain point.The Bench, also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, said: “Legislators are also supposed to follow rules.””Judges have to act fearlessly,” the lawyer said, adding that politicians have been publicly speaking on the issue and the media was reporting, which affected the functioning of the judiciary. The matter was heard in the court hours before the opposition MPs moved the impeachment motion against CJI Misra.It  is “motivated” and “political”  move say  eminent jurists Soli Sorabjee, former high court judges S N Dhingra,Ajit Kumar Sinha and senior advocate Vikas Singh.Sorabjee, who was attorney general during the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, made a scathing attack on the opposition’s decision to go for impeachment of the CJI, saying, “This is the worst that could happen to the independence of the judiciary.”The motion would shake the confidence and faith of the people in the judiciary, he added.The AAP has gone o record saying the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra would turn out to be a joke as it would get defeated due to lack of numbers in both Houses of Parliament. AAP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said if the petition was defeated it would also “put a stamp of approval on the working of the chief justice”. “For the motion to pass, a two-thirds majority is required in both Houses, and the Opposition does not have the numbers. It will be defeated, and if that happens it will be a joke,” Singh said.The BJP has also lashed out at the Congress over its move to impeach the Chief Justice of India, dubbing it as an “intimidatory tactic” and revenge petition” to target the Supreme Court. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, himself a prominent lawyer, said it is a dangerous event and serious threat to judicial independence. Meanwhile, Justice Jasti Chemaleswar from Andhra Pradesh who had publicly criticised the CJI alleging arbitrary allocation of cases is due for superannuation on June 22 this year.CJI Misra will demit office on October 2, 2018.(with inputs from TV news channels)

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