Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday termed the Opposition's proposal for impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra a "revenge petition" created to intimidate the judge, as the Congress was unhappy at the Supreme Court's dismissal of pleas for probe into the death of CBI Judge BH Loya.
Agreeing with him, Justice Sinha said, "The issues have been going on for the last one-two months and got revived yesterday with the judgement of the apex court in judge Loya matter".
They added that the tradition in India is that from the time a motion is moved, the judge must recuse himself from judicial work.
"We wish this day had never come", said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. References to the Chief Justice by innuendo in these conversations are evident. He admitted that the impeachment move was a double-edged and could scar the Congress as well.
Indians can see the truth, says Rahul Congress president Rahul Gandhi yesterday said "there is hope" on the judge B H Loya case as millions of "Indians can see the truth", a day after the judge's family said "there is no hope left". The practice in the Supreme Court is that when the Chief Justice is in a Constitution Bench, and matters are to be listed, requests for listing are made before the first puisne judge.
So, the committee must be one where there is a judge of the Supreme Court, a Chief Justice of a High Court and a distinguished jurist.
71 signatories including 64 sitting Rajya Sabha MPs have signed the petition.
It is also interesting to note that all the previous three impeachment motions have been moved when Congress was in power at the Centre. Impeachment motion has also isolated the party in the Opposition spectrum. "One can not bring an impeachment motion against a judge because you think he has given a wrong judgment", he said.
"Democracy can thrive only when our judiciary stands firm, independent of the executive, and discharges its constitutional functions honestly, fearless, and with an even hand", Sibal said.
The grand old party also alleged that the CJI's behaviour in the Prasad Education Trust case was questionable. "To use the power as intimidatory tactics when neither you have a case of "proven misconduct" or the numbers on your side, is a serious threat to judicial independence", finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a Facebook post on Friday.
Jaitley said BJP President Amit Shah had no role in the Sohrabuddin case and that "the Caravan Magazine's stories and investigations are a textbook example of fake news".
Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee said impeachment can only be on grounds of misbehaviour.