Notice for Indian CJ’s impeachment rejected
Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today rejected a notice given by opposition parties led by Congress for impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra citing "lack of substantial merit in it", sources said.
The rejection came a day after Naidu, who is the Vice Chairman of Rajya Sabha, upper House of Parliament, held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts on Sunday. The notice was signed by 64 lawmakers of the Rajya Sabha.
Seven opposition parties, led by Congress, had last week met Naidu on Friday and handed over the notice for impeachment of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) on five grounds of "misbehaviour".
This was the first time ever that an impeachment notice has been filed against a sitting chief justice of India.
A number of constitution experts, had expressed concerns over move by a section of opposition parties, saying it was a sad day for the Indian judiciary.
Senior lawyer Fali Nariman told a newspaper that it was "a horrible black day" in the history of Indian Supreme Court."
The move not only diminishes the public's faith in the judiciary but could well open the door for the ruling party to move against a judge if it doesn't like a particular judgment, he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed the opposition parties impeachment notice as a "revenge petition"
"It is a revenge petition after the falsehood of the Congress party has been established in the Justice Loya death case." "It is an attempt to intimidate a Judge and send a message to other Judges that if you don't agree with us, fifty MPs are enough for a revenge action," he had said in a Facebook post.
The opposition notice was given a day after an apex court bench, headed by Justice Misra, rejected pleas for a probe into the death of judge B H Loya who was trying a case relating to the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, an alleged gangster, in Gujarat state in November, 2005 in which BJP President Amit Shah was made an accused but discharged.
Shah is a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was chief minister of Gujarat in 2005.