VP’s Rejection of Impeachment Notice “Illegal & Hasty”: Opposition

“We will certainly move a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge this order,” Congress said.

2 min read

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday, 23 April, rejected the notice given by 64 members of the Rajya Sabha from Opposition parties led by the Congress for impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra, citing lack of substantial merit in it.

Naidu held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts, including former chief justices and judges, before taking the decision, sources said.

The rejection of the notice comes a day after he held consultations to determine the maintainability of the motion.

Seven opposition parties led by the Congress had last week moved a notice before him for impeachment of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) on five grounds of "misbehaviour".

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said called the VP’s move illegal, pointing out that the VP “only has to see whether it is signed by the requisite number of people and whether the charges on the face of it amount to misbehaviour or not.” Bhushan said that the VP “has no business to go into the merits of the charges”, which is for “the enquiry committee to decide.”

In a press conference, Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters that Naidu's order jeopardised the country's legal system, and said the government was not keen to see a probe into the case. He also pointed out that the order was contradictory, as the VP hadn’t allowed for scrutiny for the allegations to be proven despite seeking for proof.

“How can something be proved before it is proved? It can only be proved after an enquiry,” Sibal asked.

“The order is unprecedented, illegal, ill-advised and hasty," Sibal said, adding that it had been passed without a full-fledged enquiry. “We will certainly move a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge this order,” Sibal said.

The Congress leader stressed that “never before in India’s history” had a motion moved by MPs been dismissed at the preliminary stage.

The order shattered the confidence of the people and jeopardised the legal system, he added.

“We will ensure the CJI would have nothing to do with this petition,” Sibal said.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, however, hailed Naidu's decision of rejecting the impeachment notice moved by the Congress, and seven other opposition parties against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.

Naidu, the Rajya Sabha chairman, rejected the notice citing lack of substantial merit in it.

"The vice president should have rejected it (impeachment notice) the day it was filed because the content of the notice was made public," Swamy told PTI.

The BJP leader was among the first few litigants to mention their respective petitions for urgent hearing.

(With inputs from PTI)

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