VICE PRESIDENT OF India and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Monday rejected the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by seven opposition parties.
"The motion presented by the MPs indicates a mere suspicion, conjecture or an assumption in the Prasad Education Trust case. The same does not constitute proof beyond a reasonable doubt required to make out a case of proved misbehavior,” says the order by Naidu.
The motion was rejected after Naidu held consultations with several constitutional and legal experts, including Attorney General K.K. Venugopal. He also spoke to former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, former Law Secretary P.K. Malhotra, former Legislative Secretary Sanjay Singh, and senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. In addition, he also seems to have held deliberations with K. Parasaran, who was the Attorney General during the Congress governments led by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, and was also a member nominated by the party to the Upper House.
The order said the conversation between third parties with dubious credentials cannot themselves constitute material evidence against CJI. "Going through the allegations mentioned in the notice, I am of the view they are neither tenable nor admissable. The allegations emerging from the case have a serious tendency of undermining the independence of the judiciary," it added
This comes after Congress and six other opposition parties on Friday moved a notice for the impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra, accusing him of five counts of "misbehaviour" and "misusing" authority.
The opposition parties had met Naidu and handed over the notice for the impeachment with signatures of 64 MPs of the Upper House. The MPs who signed the notice belong to the Congress, the NCP, the CPI (M) and CPI, the SP, the BSP and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). The leaders of these parties earlier met in Parliament and gave the final shape to the notice for impeachment.
The parties had briefed the media after handing over the notice to the Upper House chairman. While reviewing the notice, the Rajya Sabha officials had mentioned that making public the contents of a notice before it is admitted by the chair is in violation of parliamentary rules.
According to the provisions in the handbook for Rajya Sabha members, no advance publicity should be given to any notice to be taken up in the House till it is admitted by the chairman.
The move to propose impeachment notice against the CJI has led to a slugfest between the Congress and the BJP. Meanwhile, the Congress said that the CJI should consider recusing himself from judicial and administrative duties until his name is cleared. The BJP has said the Congress was trying to demean, degrade and denigrate the judiciary by moving the notice.
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