Congress on Sunday appeared to steer clear of the move by opposition members in the Rajya Sabha to bring an impeachment motion against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran.
“Congress has not taken a decision on the issue either way and therefore does not feel the need to comment on it”, party spokesman and member of the Upper House Abhishek Singhvi said when asked to comment on the party’s stand on the motion.
More than 50 Rajya Sabha members have reportedly favoured impeachment of Dinakaran and a petition in this regard is likely to be submitted to the House Chairman Mohammed Hamid Ansari early next week.
A signature campaign is underway and more than 50 Rajya Sabha members from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Left parties and Samajwadi Party, among others, are understood to have signed the petition.
In the early nineties, the first ever impeachment motion in India was brought up against V Ramaswamy, an apex court judge, after he was found guilty of misconduct by a committee of three judges.
Congress, which was also the ruling party then, had simply abstained from voting at that time, leading to the defeat of the motion.
As per rules, a petition containing signatures of at least 50 of the 250 member of the Rajya Sabha is required, which is the first step in the impeachment process.
Under rules, the MPs’ petition is sent to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat for verification of signatures. On being satisfied that appropriate procedures have been followed, a committee is set up for further consideration of the petition.
The move to impeach Dinakaran has come in the backdrop of allegations of land grabbing against him, for which his elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court has been stalled.