Rejection of impeachment motion destroyed legitimate process of law: Sibal

Rejection of impeachment motion destroyed legitimate process of law: Sibal

Rejection of impeachment motion destroyed legitimate process of law: Sibal

Sibal even quoted Naidu from his order where he had said, "the prefix "proved" places an obligation of actually proving the misbehavior...", saying that proved misbehavior can come only after an inquiry and what Naidu has applied to it is not known to law. The Order passed by the Vice President in this regard dismissed the motion on three grounds: no proved misbehaviour, it is an internal matter of the Supreme Court, and that the MPs violated the rule from the handbook.

Troubles for Misra, who is due to retire in October at age 65, started in January when four other Supreme Court judges launched a rare public revolt, criticising his distribution of cases and judicial appointments.

"Our institutions were gifted to us by our Constitution", he told the participants of a Congress rally in New Delhi.

Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is in the forefront of leading the campaign against the CJI, said the decision was "unconstitutional" and "political" to protect the CJI.

Leaders of the opposition parties had met Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and handed over the notice of impeachment bearing the signatures of 64 MPs and seven former members, who had recently retired. "Accordingly I refuse to admit notice of motion", said Naidu.

"Going through the five allegations mentioned in the notice, I am of the view that they are neither tenable nor admissible", Naidu said in his 22-point order rejecting the motion moved by 64 MPs.

The Opposition had said in a statement after submitting the notice that they had presented evidence against the Chief Justice's alleged misconduct.

"The first charge relates to the conspiracy to pay illegal gratification by persons in relation to the Prasad Education Trust case and the manner in which the case was dealt with by the Chief Justice".

A little later, attendants of the Chief Justice and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud appeared. On a careful analysis and reflection, I find that there is virtually no concrete verifiable imputation. But last week, Opposition leaders did so right after submitting the motion.

'The order is unprecedented, illegal, ill-advised and hasty. He said the vice-president's order was the government's attempt to hamper probity.

He said that Mr Naidu was not the authority to decide on the merit of the Motion.'He (Venkaiah Naidu) should have consulted the collegium.

At the time, there were moves to impeach Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen, who was accused of financial irregularities.

Article 124 (4) of the Constitution lays down the procedure for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court, including the CJI, who can be impeached on grounds of "misbehaviour or incapacity".

Both Houses of Parliament have to pass an "address to the president".

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is against any move that may not go down well with the judiciary. But, before the motion could be placed in the Lok Sabha, Sen resigned. Here, the NDA has a clear, 300-plus majority. "If it is signed by 50 members of the Upper House then the opinion of 50 members must be respected that this is a serious enough matter and it should be examined by the committee", he said. "We can not allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by any thought, word or action", he said.

Now, suddenly, one day after a bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra delivered the Judge Loya verdict, this impeachment notice has been given to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

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