Congress yet to decide on proposal to impeach CJI

Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra.

Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra.  

Party is awaiting the outcome of meetings between judges

The Congress is in a wait-and-watch mode on the question of supporting an impeachment motion, proposed by the CPI(M), against Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra.

Insiders say the party is following the outcome of the meetings between the CJI and four senior-most judges before taking a call.

The CPI(M) proposed a motion to be tabled in the budget session of Parliament which starts Monday next.

Institutional solution

Congress’s communication chief Randeep Surjewala, however, was careful in articulating the party’s position. He said the CJI must immediately address the “important issues of transparency, propriety and accountability of the highest judiciary.” “These issues warrant an institutional solution to uphold the independence of the entire judicial process in the country. Every Indian is a stakeholder in finding a decisive road ahead on these issues. We sincerely hope the CJI and the Supreme Court will address them without any delay. Any other issue is yet to be deliberated by the party,” he said.

On January 12, when the senior-most justices — J. Chelamshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Joseph Kurian and Madan Lokur — held a press conference, Congress president Rahul Gandhi discussed the fallout with the party’s top legal minds such as P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha.

Sources said the issue of impeachment did not come up for discussion at this meeting. The Congress knows that the Opposition does not have the number to carry such a motion through. “If an impeachment motion is brought, there will be an inquiry with two sitting SC judges and a jurist. And until then, the CJI has to recuse himself from cases,” said a Congress leader.

To move an impeachment motion, the CPI(M) will have muster the signatures of at least 50 Rajya Sabha members or 100 Lok Sabha members. In the Lok Sabha, the CPI(M) and the Trinamool with its 33 MPs will have to be on the same side to reach the figure of 100. In the Rajya Sabha, the Congress has 57 members and can easily help the CPI(M) get the motion accepted. The matter may be discussed during the Opposition meet on the first day of the budget session to chart their floor strategy.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 12:45:10 AM |

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