Illegal order, says Congress

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra

The Chairman has said we have not been able to prove misbehaviour. But the order by the Vice-President that came two days after the Opposition parties launched the impeachment bid was slammed as "hasty" by the Congress, sparking a war of words with the ruling BJP. The motion also said that the CJI was "likely to fall" within the scope of investigation and that he "appears to have" anti-dated an administrative order.

"I have considered each of the allegations individually as well as collectively in the light of annexures annexed to the notice of the motion but also in the light of cogent, relevant material available in the form of judicial orders passed by the apex court of the country. This motion does not deserve to be admitted", said Naidu.

"Proved misbehaviour comes after the inquiry". He consulted legal luminaries, constitutional experts and former Secretary Generals of both the houses, former law officers, law commission members and eminent jurists. "The five charges.do not make a case under Article 124 (4) of the Constitution which can lead any reasonable mind to conclude that the CJI on these facts can be ever held guilty of misbehaviour", said Naidu.

"The intent, gravity and onus are of a much higher degree".

Naidu said the MPs who presented the petition were unsure of their own case.

"How can the petition be dismissed even without a probe, taking evidences...?" Caesar divorced his wife merely on the basis of suspicion.

Referring to the Chairman's contention that the charges made in the petition do not constitute proved misbehaviour under Article 124 (4), he said it was for the inquiry committee to decide whether the charges are proved or not.

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The Rajya Sabha Chairman also held that in the Prasad Education Trust case, "the conversations between third parties with dubious credentials, which have been extensively relied upon, can not themselves constitute any material evidence against the holder of the office of CJI". The Supreme court is being crushed, it is being suppressed. He said the order will be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Misra has refused requests to defer a controversial case concerning the demolition of the Babri Masjid, a centuries old mosque that was demolished in 1992 by a Hindu nationalists mob who said it was built on the site of a Hindu temple. "This instance has set a bad precedent, which is not good for democracy", he told PTI in Kolkata, adding that Naidu should have followed proper procedures before rejecting the notice. "This is jeopardising the judicial system", he said. So far, no judge has been impeached in India, though proceedings have been initiated against some in the past. "The Chair never objected to such publicity", Naik said.

Dubbing the rejection of the removal notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra as "illegal, ill-advised and hasty", Congress leader Kapil Sibal announced on Monday that opposition members would challenge Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu's order in the Supreme Court.

It may be recalled that a few months back, four senior Judges including Justice Chellameswar raised the banner of revolt against CJI Dipak Misra stating that he was functioning in an arbitrary manner and wasn't giving strong cases to senior Judges.

Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at his residence in New Delhi, Monday.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy hailed Naidu's decision of rejecting the impeachment notice.

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