Delhi: Opposition parties submitted a petition of 64 sitting MPs seeking removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Friday.
“71 MPs had signed the impeachment motion (against CJI) but as 7 have retired the number is now 64. We have more than the minimum requirement needed to entertain the motion and we are sure that the Hon Chairman will take action,” Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Siba said that he wished this day had never come but there have been ‘questions’ about the manner which the CJI have dealt with certain cases.
“We wish this day had never come in the fabric of our constitutional framework. Since the day he (Dipak Misra) was appointed as CJI there have been questions raised in the manner in which he has dealt with certain cases,” Sibal said.
“When the judges of the Supreme Court themselves believe that the Judiciary’s independence is at threat, alluding to the functioning of the office of the CJI, should the nation stand still and do nothing,” Sibal added.
The MPs who signed the notice belong to the Congress, the NCP, the CPI-M and CPI, the SP and the BSP.
The leaders of these parties earlier met in Parliament and gave final shape to the notice for impeachment.
After the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad confirmed that the leaders were moving the notice for impeachment against CJI.
Among those who attended the meeting in Parliament were Congress leaders Azad, Kapil Sibal and Randeep Surjewala, besides CPI’s D Raja and NCP’s Vandana Chavan.
Sources said the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, which were initially in favour of the impeachment against the CJI, are no longer part of it.
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 SC judgement was delivered by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India.
An impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha has to be supported by at least 50 MPs of the Upper House, while the number of MPs supporting such a motion in the Lok Sabha is 100. Once the notice for impeachment is submitted to the Rajya Sabha chairman, he will ascertain whether there is merit or ground for moving such a motion.
In case he finds merit, then he may form a committee to look into it, else he can reject it.
If moved, this will be the first time ever in the country’s history that an impeachment would be moved against the Chief Justice of India.