Plea challenging rejection of impeachment motion against CJI dismissed as withdrawn
The Supreme Court has dismissed the petitions that challenged the decision to reject the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India, Venkaiah Naidu. The petitions were dismissed as withdrawn.
The petition was filed after Rajya Sabha chairman, Venkaiah Naidu rejected the removal motion against Justice Misra which was signed by over 50 MPs. The petitioners Pratap Singh Bajwa from Punjab and Amee Harshadray Yajnik from Gujarat, in a joint petition, said that once a removal motion is signed by a requisite number of MPs, RS chairman has no option but to constitute Inquiry Committee to probe into charges against CJI.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had rejected the notice given by opposition parties led by the Congress to impeach the CJI. He had said that there was no substantial merit in it. Naidu held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts, including former chief justices and judges, before taking the decision.
When the matter came up for hearing, Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioners withdrew the petitions. He sought to know how the CJI overnight passed an administrative order listing the petition before a five-judge bench. "Give me that order. I want to challenge it," Sibal said. But the 5-judge bench said it was up to Sibal to decide whether he should argue the case or not.
Sibal's appearance for the two RS Congress MPs was objected by two advocates R P Luthra and Ashwini Upadhyay who said Bar Council of India prohibits those advocate politicians who have signed the notice of removal motion from arguing the same case before SC.
The court repeatedly asked Sibal what purpose it would serve if he was given a copy of the administrative order passed by the CJI referring the matter to a five judge Bench. Sibal said that only after getting the order would he decide on whether to challenge it or not. The SC expressed its reluctance to part with the adminsitrative order following which Sibal decided to withdraw the petition.
Attorney General K K Venugopal said the motion was signed by 64 MPs from seven political parties. How can only two MPs from one political party have a grievance against RS chairman's order rejecting the notice for removal motion when six other political parties appear to have accepted it, he also asked.