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'Oppn can't succeed in SC against VP's decision on impeachment'

Last updated on: April 23, 2018 16:18 IST

Eminent jurists react over Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu's decision to reject opposition's impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

IMAGE: Justice Dipak Misra is sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India t Rashtrapati Bhavan, August 28, 2017. Photograph: PIB

Eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee on Monday said that the Congress-led opposition had no chance to succeed in the Supreme Court against Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu's decision rejecting impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

When asked about the procedure ahead if the opposition moves the apex court to challenge the decision of Naidu, Rajya Sabha chairman, Sorabjee said "I don't see chances of the writ petition (challenging the Naidu's decision) succeeding," he said.

 

Reacting to Naidu's order rejecting the impeachment notice against the CJI moved by 64 MPs, the former Attorney General of India said that the RS chairman has "applied his mind" after consulting legal experts on the issue.

"The vice president has applied his mind. He has consulted legal experts and has come to a decision. We did not want the matter hanging indefinitely.

"He (Naidu) has gone into the matter and found no merit in it and no ground for impeachment, therefore, he rejected it," Sorabjee told a TV channel.

The vice president has rejected the impeachment notice against the CJI, citing lack of substantial merit in it.

"We cannot allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by any thought, word or action," the vice president said in his order.

Seven opposition parties led by the Congress had last week moved a notice before him for impeachment of the CJI on five grounds of "misbehavior".

This is the first time ever that an impeachment notice has been filed against a sitting CJI.

Leaders of these parties had on Friday last met Naidu and handed over the notice of impeachment against the CJI bearing signatures of 64 MPs and seven former members, who recently retired. The parties had briefed the media after handing over the notice to the Upper House chairman.

Vice president only statutory authority to reject impeachment notice: F S Nariman

Eminent jurist Fali S Nariman has said the issues raised in the impeachment notice against CJI Dipak Misra were not of "sufficient gravity and rightly rejected" by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

Nariman said Naidu was the only statutory authority to take the decision on the notice.

"He (Naidu) was the only statutory authority to take that decision and in my view he has rightly taken the decision. The grounds raised in the impeachment notice are not of sufficient gravity.

"When you have a man like the chief justice of the Supreme Court, it (impeachment notice) has to have something that is far more important than just saying he did not do this or that. The vice president has the statutory authority and he has rightly rejected the notice," Nariman told a TV channel.

On whether the gravity of charges should have been decided by an enquiry committee of three Supreme Court judges, Nariman said, "The CJI is as it is demitting office in October-November this year. Most unlikely that this matter will continue till then."

"I can understand if there are 4-5 years remaining for him in office then you can argue. It doesn't make sense to do it now," he said.

He said this move by the opposition led by the Congress was only to demean the institution of the Supreme Court and it was not about Justice Misra.

"It only demeans the institution which he is heading. This is the problem, they are all thinking of justice Misra, but I am not thinking of Mr Misra, I am thinking of the Supreme Court. It is the institution, which is now being denigrated. I am very sorry that it happened in my lifetime. I never expected this to happen," the senior lawyer said.

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