Congress and six other opposition parties have moved a notice for the impeachment of Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra, accusing him of five counts of “misbehaviour” and “misusing” authority.
The impeachment notice comes a day after the Supreme Court rejected a bunch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge B H Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
The opposition parties met Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and handed over a notice for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India with signatures of 71 MPs of the Upper House.
Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the notice for impeachment had been moved with a heavy heart. “As representatives of the people, we are entitled to hold the Chief Justice accountable, just as we are accountable to the people. The majesty of the law is more important than the majesty of any office,” he said.
“We hope that a thorough enquiry will be held so that truth alone triumphs. Democracy can thrive only when our judiciary stands firm, independent of the executive, and discharges its constitutional functions honestly, fearless, and with an even hand,” Sibal said.
Senior Congress member and Leader of opposition in the Upper House, Ghulam Nabi Azad, had called the meeting, coming days after the party said the option of moving an impeachment motion against CJI Misra was still open.
The MPs who signed the notice calling for the impeachment belong to the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Left parties Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Communist Party of India (CPI), the Samajwadi Party (SP), and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
After handing over the notice to Vice-President Naidu, Azad said, “We have moved an impeachment motion seeking the removal of CJI Dipak Misra under five listed grounds of misbehaviour. We have sought his removal under Article 217 read with Article 124(4) of the Constitution of India.”
However , there seems to be some disagreement within the Congress over impeachment motion as leaders like former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Manish Tewari, P Chidambaram , Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Veerappa Moily apparently according to media reports did not sign on the notice.
Congress leader Salman Khurshid, however, seemed to disagree with his party colleagues. “I hope not and believe not… impeachment is too serious a matter to be played with on the grounds of disagreement with any judgment or with any point of view of the court. I am not party to the discussions that have taken place between the parties therefore for me to say whether the grounds are justified or not would be unfair,” he said.
Among those who attended the meeting in Parliament were Congress leaders Azad, Sibal and Congress communications in- charge Randeep Surjewala, besides CPI’s D Raja and NCP’s Vandana Chavan