Congress MPs move Supreme Court over impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra

Congress MPs move Supreme Court over impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra

The Supreme Court has formed a Constitution Bench to hear the petition filed by two Congress MPs challenging vice president Venkaiah Naidu's decision to reject a motion filed by the party to remove Misra as the chief justice.

The petition claims that Naidu's decision to reject the impeachment motion was motivated by "political consideration" and should be set aside for being "arbitrary and illegal".

Earlier in the day, the petition filed by the two MPs - Pratap Singh Bajwa from Punjab and Amee Harshadray Yagnik from Gujarat-was mentioned by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Prashant Bhushan before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar, the senior most judge in SC after the CJI.

The reason Sibal mentioned the case before Chelameswar's bench was made clear by Sibal himself, who told the court that since the case relates to CJI Misra, he couldn't mention it before the CJI to demand a date of hearing.

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The bench comprises of justices S.A. Bobde, A.K. Sikri, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and A.K. Goel - the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th most senior judges. Justice Chelameswar also said he was on the verge of retirement.

The Congress had also asserted that while the constitutional process of removal is set in motion with 50 MPs giving agreement, the removal notice of the Chief Justice of India was agreed to by as many as 64 MPs.

While Justice Sikri, who will head the bench, is No. 6 in the seniority list, others follow him in the sequence of seniority.

Who are the five judges part of the Constitution bench which will hear Congress' plea? "The procedure is simple, but if Your Lordship wishes to depart from it, I have nothing to say".

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He also said that the Parliament was supreme in its own jurisdiction and its process can not be subjected to judicial review and "impeachment" motion was filed on untenable grounds for a collateral goal to intimidate the CJI and other judges. "This is the job of the Inquiry Committee", the petitioners contended. To validate their charge, the MPs who appeared before the apex court today said none among the incumbent top court judges were consulted by Naidu while arriving at his decision.

"Having considered the material contained in the notice of motion and reflected upon the inputs received in my interaction with legal luminaries and constitutional experts, I am of the firm opinion that the notice of the motion does not deserve to be admitted".

The Act mandated the Presiding Officer to either accept or reject such a notice, he said.

Naidu had said that the notice lacked merit.

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