In a major development, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu rejected Congress-led Oppositions’ notice to impeach Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra on Monday morning. The Rajya Sabha Chairman held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts before taking the decision.
“I have applied my mind to all five charges made out in Impeachment Motion and examined all annexed documents. All facts as stated in motion don’t make out a case which can lead any reasonable mind to conclude that CJI on these facts can be ever held guilty of misbehaviour,” said Naidu.
The rejection of the notice comes a day after he held the consultations with such experts to determine the maintainability of the motion.
In an unprecedented move, leaders of Opposition parties met Naidu on Friday and handed over the notice of impeachment against the CJI bearing signatures of 64 MPs and seven former members, who recently retired. Lawmakers from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Muslim League had signed the motion.
However, while reviewing the notice, the Rajya Sabha officials had mentioned that making public the contents of a notice before it is admitted by the chair is in violation of parliamentary rules.
According to the provisions in the handbook for Rajya Sabha members, no advance publicity should be given to any notice to be taken up in the House till it is admitted by the chairman.
The move to propose impeachment notice against the CJI has led to a slugfest between the Congress and the BJP.
Naidu on Sunday set in motion the process of consultation on the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and held discussions with a number of constitutional and legal experts, including Attorney General K K Venugopal, and former top law officer K Parasaran.
The vice president cut short his visit to Hyderabad and reached here to hold deliberations over the notice given by the seven opposition parties.