2 Congress MPs Petition SC Challenging Rejection Of Impeachment Motion Against CJI By Rajya Sabha Chairman

TWO Members of Parliament belonging to Congress on Monday moved the Supreme Court of India challenging the rejection of the impeachment notice given by over 50 MPs against Chief Justice by the Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on April 23 on the ground that there was “no proved misbehaviour”. Naidu, who is also Vice President of India, is ex-officio Chairman of the Indian Upper House of Parliament .After consulting legal luminaries and constitutional experts he has rejected the notice saying there is no merit in the their demand to call for CJI’s impeachment. Both Justice Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kaul went into a huddle and asked Sibal and Bhushan to come on Tuesday so they could take a call on the issue. Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who is among the signatories to the impeachment notice, mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar. He is due to retire on June 22 .Justice Sanjay  K Kaul ,part of the Bench ,asked Sibal and advocate Prashant Bhushan to mention the matter before the Chief justice of India for urgent listing  citing a Constitution Bench judgment’s  on powers of master of roster. The two leaders who have moved the petition are Congress’ Rajya Sabha MPs Pratap Singh Bajwa, who is from Punjab, and Amee Harshadray Yajnik, who is from Gujarat. Sibal said he was aware of the constitution Bench’s judgment on master of roster but since the impeachment notice concerns the CJI, the senior-most judge of the apex court can order for listing.”I am aware of the procedure but it can’t be mentioned anywhere else. A person cannot be a judge in his own cause. I am just asking for urgent listing and not seeking any interim relief,” Sibal said. The petition told the court that Naidu’s decision appears to be motivated by “political consideration” and should be set aside for being “arbitrary and illegal”. When asked by the judge why he cannot mention it before the CJI who is the ‘master of the roster’, Sibal said that the petition seeks impeachment proceedings against the CJI and thus, it cannot be mentioned there.“None of the reasons given by the chairman in the impugned order 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 of India and the Inquiry Act,” stated the petition filed through advocate Sunil Fernandez. It asked for a declaration that V-P, as chairman of the Rajya Sabha, cannot exercise discretion and that he must set up an inquiry panel under the Judges’ Inquiry Act, to probe the allegations against Justice Misra.“In the absence of a full-fledged inquiry, it is not possible to return any findings on the same. Yet the impugned order, in a cavalier, cryptic and abrupt manner, shockingly holds that none of the other charges are made out without disclosing as to on what basis was this finding retuned,” the Petitioners said .(image Courtesy: The Pioneer)



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