BJD not in favour of impeachment motion against CJI

Leaders of opposition parties address media after their meeting | Twitter  INCIndia

Seven opposition parties came together to push the petition, which has so far been signed by 64 MPs. The decision shocked several party leaders as the "extreme step" was taken just a day after the Supreme Court's order of no probe in Justice BH Loya's death.

The plea, filed by the NGO, has sought laying down of guidelines or modalities regulating procedure to be followed by MPs, desirous of initiating proceedings for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or a high court, prior to initiating a motion under Article 124 (4) and (5) and 217 (1)(b) of the Constitution.

Justice Reddy said that the impeachment move had a definite political coating and it can't be otherwise. And when different courts disrupted these attempts, which have all been motivated by political interests, an impeachment motion seriously compromising judicial independence has been moved.

Azad said the opposition has moved the motion under five listed grounds of misbehaviour.

Senior leader Kapil Sibal, a strong votary for action against Justice Misra, has over the past few days been at pains to explain that there were no differences and dissensions within the Congress. The Opposition has cited the press conference, at which the four judges alluded to the CJI misusing his power as "Master of Roster" to fix benches in favour of the government, and their reference to the case pertaining to Loya's death in the impeachment motion.

"The first charge relates to the conspiracy to pay illegal gratification by persons in relation to the Prasad Education Trust case and the manner in which the case was dealt with by the Chief Justice". Seven opposition parties, spearheaded by Congress on Friday, in an unprecedented move, moved a motion to impeach CJI.

" We have more than the minimum requirement needed to entertain the motion and we are sure that the Hon Chairman will take action". If that happens, CJI Misra would face removal.

"When the judges of the Supreme Court themselves believe that the judiciary's independence is under threat and democracy is in peril, alluding to the functioning of the office of the Chief Justice of India, should the nation stand still and do nothing?" he questioned.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former finance minister P Chidambaram were among those who did not sign the impeachment notice on Friday against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. "Impeachment is too serious a matter to be played with frivolously on the grounds of disagreement with any judgement or point of view of the Court", said former Union Minister Salman Khurshid.

The second was that the CJI allegedly dealt with the same case on both the administrative as well as judicial side.

In any case, who will - or can - hear the case against the sitting CJI?

Mr Sibal said, ' We wish this day had never come.

"We are all very disturbed about it", a bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said after the counsel appearing for the petitioner raised the issue of politicians making public statements on impeachment of judges. Loya was hearing the encounter case of Sohraduddin Sheikh.

The petition drew the court's attention to a draft motion for removal of the CJI being made public on March 27, and said it had the "effect of intimidating the judiciary", and was a "gross abuse" of the process of law.

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