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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Consults Legal Luminaries On Opposition Motion To Remove CJI Dipak Misra; Legal Experts Slam Congress' Move

Written By Shatabdi Chowdhury | Mumbai | Published:

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  • Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has begun the process of consultations on impeachment notice against the CJI
  • Naidu has held talks with Attorney General KK Venugopal and also spoke with former Supreme Court judge B Sudarshan Reddy

Even as the Congress party has been continuing its attack on Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who has returned to New Delhi cutting short his tour to Hyderabad, has begun the process of consultations on impeachment notice against the CJI.

As per reports, Naidu has held talks with Attorney General KK Venugopal and also spoke with former Supreme Court judge B Sudarshan Reddy. The Rajya Sabha Chairman is also reportedly learnt to have asked the Secretariat of the upper house of Parliament to see if there is a precedent on Opposition members giving out details of such a motion to the media before it is examined.

Congress had submitted the impeachment notice against the CJI to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Friday.

Meanwhile, as Naidu has been consulting legal luminaries over the move, Republic TV has details of recommendations by top legal experts. Vice President has consulted 12 experts and sources have revealed that all 12 legal experts have slammed the Congress for the impeachment move.

Here are the views of legal and constitutional experts' views about Congress-led Opposition's move to impeach Chief Justice of India (CJI), as per the sources:

  • Fali Nariman, senior jurist:  "A horribly black day in the history of the Supreme Court and will not only diminish the public's faith in the judiciary, but will open the door for the ruling party to move against a judge it it doesn't like a particular judgmen."
  • He also said "it was imperative to have extraordinarily important grounds to impeach the Chief Justice because the final interpreters of the constitution is the judiciary and not parliament . Bringing forth such charges against the Chief Justice amounts to destroying the constitution."
  • T S Thakur, former CJI : "Impeachment move 'unfortunate'. He also told news agencies, "This is very unfortunate that the top judiciary is faced with such crisis."
  • B Sudershan Reddy, former SC judge: "Impeachment move 'suicidal dangerous" Reddy told news agencies that "it is suicidal on part of the political parties which have moved the impeachment motion". "There is no material to establish the charge of any misbehaviour on part of the Chief Justice. Irregularities do not amount to misbehaviour", he added.
  • Former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash C Kashyap: "Pure party politics". "Only the President can be impeached and Article 124 only speaks about the removal of a judge for misconduct or proven incapacity. There is nothing like impeachment of a Judge (in the Constitution)," he added.
  • Justice R S Sodhi, former Delhi High Court judge and a practicing senior counsel in the Supreme Court : "The most immature move the Congress had committed in its history. I am sorry that the Grand Old Party has committed hara-kiri."
  • Justice Chelameswar:  "I do not know why the nation is obsessed with impeachment. Impeachment can't be an answer to everything. There have to be other mechanisms in place to deal with such problems."
  • Soli Sorabjee, eminent jurist :  "This is the worst that could happen to the independence of the judiciary." "A judge cannot be impeached merely because of an error of judgement. The Chief Justice is not above the law. He can be impeached but on what ground? If you start an impeachment motion against the CJI on the ground that a certain order of his is wrong, then the very independence of judiciary will be at stake. You are dealing with the Chief Justice. There should be solid, cogent, substantial grounds for doing so," he said.
  • Justice Dhingra: "The impeachment notice is motivated and the MPs want political mileage knowing that they do not have the numbers to impeach the chief justice. Discontentment among judges does not mean you initiate the process of impeachment. Discontentment is a part of life."
  • Vikas Singh, senior lawyer: "It is a sad day as it comes a day after the judge Loya judgement delivered by the Supreme Court. There are not even serious allegations, still the notice has been moved. It is dangerous as such frivolous motions can be carried out if they (MPs) had the numbers to impeach a judge." 
  • Justice Ajit Kumar Sinha: "The issues have been going on for the last one-two months and got revived yesterday (Thursday) with the judgement of the apex court in judge Loya matter. This (impeachment move) prima facie appears to be a reaction by the people, who want to impeach the judge, because of yesterday's verdict."
  • ASG Satya Pal Jain: "The impeachment notice moved by Congress and other Opposition parties against CJI Misra is politically motivated. Unfortunate and politically motivated and seems to be an attempt to intimidate judiciary and give message that if you don't decide on cases as per our wishes, we'll indulge in character assassination of judges."
  • Senior Supreme court Advocate Sri Rakesh Dwivedi: "The motion is ill advised and founded on baseless charges. The purpose is to compel Chief Justice of India to recuse."
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