The Congress party held a news briefing on Monday calling the Vice President's order rejecting the Opposition parties' motion to impeach the Chief Justice of India (CJI) "unprecedented, illegal, ill-advised and hasty".
"He (Vice President) has to see whether the motion is in order or not. Have 50 members signed it? Are the signatures genuine? If it is absolutely frivolous and has nothing to do with misbehaviour, he has to take a call. He doesn't act in any quasi-judicial capacity in this case", said former UPA Law Minister Kapil Sibal hours after VP Venkaiah Naidu, chairman of the Rajya Sabha, held that the motion doesn't deserve to be admitted and that MPs who presented the petition are unsure of their case.
“MPs who presented petition are unsure of their case...Phrases used by MPs indicate mere suspicion, conjecture or assumption...Does not constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt”, the rejection order accessed by Republic TV stated.
Sibal then outlined the sequence of events he believes should have been followed:
"Proved misbehaviour comes after the inquiry, it can't come before the inquiry. That's why it's illegal, because Rajya Sabha chairman has said we've not been able to prove the misbehaviour."
Sibal also added: "Some of the allegations relate to what is happening in court. He's not consulted any judge on what's happening in court."
Calling the Vice President's rejection of the motion 'hasty', Sibal said: "If a motion has been moved by the valid signatures of 64 members, obviously it takes time for any normal person to understand the issue. Even me, I'm not superhuman. But obviously, there was some tearing hurry. I don't think momentous matters like this should be disposed of in such a fashion."
"Remember, it is our privilege to move this motion. You can't boot the privilege in this fashion", Sibal said.
Sibal then went into the Rajya Sabha chairperson's rejection order, picking alleged holes, and on each point claiming that the motion should have been admitted. He blamed the government for the rejection:
"It seems to us that this government is very keen that this must not be allowed to be inquired into."
He added further:
"It seems to be there is a presumption that is prevalent as we read the order that 64 MPs haven't applied their mind when they moved the order. I think this unprecedented order only shatters the confidence of the people and destroys legitimate processes of the law."
Before concluding, he confirmed that the Opposition would challenge the order in the Supreme Court and ensure that the CJI has nothing to do with it:
"We will certainly move a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge this order and we are confident that when we move that petition the CJI has nothing to do with it so that it is heard and the serious issues which are constitutional in nature and which will determine whether we'll bring transparency to the process or not will be decided by the court."
The Opposition parties had on Friday filed their impeachment motion allegedly containing 64 MPs' signatures and the support of 7 parties citing 5 charges against the CJI which they claimed comprised 'misbehaviour'.