Cong will move SC, says Sibal
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday lashed out at Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for rejecting an impeachment notice filed by opposition parties against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and said it would move the Supreme Court to challenge the illegal order which had shattered the confidence of the people.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters here Naidu's order jeopardised the country's legal system and said the government was not keen to see a probe into the case.
Criticising the decision, the party also said it was a fight between forces "rejecting democracy" and voices "rescuing democracy".
To say the least, the order is unprecedented, illegal, ill-advised and hasty," Sibal said, adding that it had been passed without a full-fledged enquiry.
"We will certainly move a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge this order, Sibal asserted.
Describing Naidu's move as "unprecedented", the Congress leader stressed that never before in India's history had a motion moved by MPs been dismissed at the preliminary stage. "It is illegal because the chairman has passed an order which is required to be passed after a full-fledged inquiry," Sibal said, adding that the Rajya Sabha chairman had to only ascertain whether the motion was in order.
Substantiating his argument, Sibal said that once the motion is admitted, then the under the Judges (Inquiry) Act of 1968, the motion is sent to a panel of three - a sitting chief justice of a high court, a judge of the Supreme Court and a legal luminary, and added that did not happen in this case.
He also termed the upper house chairman's decision as "ill-advised", saying that he should have consulted the judges in the collegium taking a call on the privilege motion.
"It is ill-advised because the procedure requires him to consult CJI before he admits the motion. Now that he cannot consult CJI obviously (in this case), he should have consulted other members of the collegium. But he has chosen not to do that," Sibal said.
He further said some of the allegations mentioned in the motion relate to what is happening in court, so Naidu should have consulted consulted other judges.
He wondered what the hurry was to reject the motion which had the valid signatures of 64 MPs. "I do not think momentous matters like this should be disposed of in this fashion. Remember, it is our privilege to move the motion. You cannot boot the privilege in this fashion," he said.
The order had shattered the confidence of the people and jeopardised the legal system, he added. "It seems that the government is very keen that this (charge made in the petition) must not be allowed to be inquired into. Maybe they have information that the CBI has information, maybe by scuttling the inquiry they don't want a lot of information to come on record. It puts the judicial system into jeopardy," he said.
"We will certainly move the petition in the Supreme Court. We are confident that when we move the petition, the CJI will have nothing to do with it so that it is heard and the serious issues, which are constitutional in nature and which will determine whether we bring transparency to the system, would be heard in the court, Sibal said.
Earlier in the day, AICC media-in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala criticised the decision and said it was a fight between forces "rejecting democracy" and voices "rescuing democracy". Surjewala said within hours of 64 MPs submitting the impeachment notice, Leader of the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had shown "naked prejudice" by calling it a revenge petition, "virtually dictating the verdict" to the Rajya Sabha chairman. The other parties were the CPI, CPI(M), NCP, SP, BSP and the IUML.
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