CJI impeachment: Venkaiah Naidu within powers to reject notice, say experts

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Eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee said the Congress-led Opposition had no chance to succeed in the SC against Naidu's decision rejecting impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India. Sibal said the Congress will move a petition in the Supreme Court challenging this order.

BJP, however, applauded Naidu and slammed Congress for its "intimidatory tactics".

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. The parties had briefed the media after handing over the notice to the Upper House chairman.

"I am also aware that it is imperative that we should have extraordinary, important and substantial grounds for the removal of a judge", said Naidu, who held legal consultations on Sunday.

Sixty-four MPs belonging to Congress, NCP, CPM, CPI, SP, BSP and IUML had in their notice seeking removal of CJI Misra, levelled allegations of corruption, impropriety and arbitrariness in allocation of cases as grounds.

"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.

Asking the lawyer if he thought that anybody would commit Sati after seeing the film, Chief Justice Misra said that women empowerment had increased in all these years.

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"We will certainly move a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge this order", he added.

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu said the claims against the judge led by the opposition Congress party were "neither tenable nor admissable", quashing the bid. While senior advocate and Congress MP K T S Tulsi criticised the Vice President's decision saying it was a serious matter and corruption could not be allowed to grow in the judiciary, senior lawyer and BJP leader Aman Sinha said the notice was rightly rejected with "sound legal reasoning".

"There are procedures in the Constitution and the chairman of Rajya Sabha should have followed it instead of acting in a hurried manner", Chatterjee said. The notice was dismissed at the preliminary stage of the multi-step impeachment process.

"While taking a decision in the admission of such a notice against one of the senior most constitutional functionaries of the country, one should examine all the factors very carefully and dispassionately, because initiation of such proceedings tends to undermine the faith of the common person in the judicial system. You can not boot the privilege in this manner", Sibal said, adding that the government is very keen that charges made in the petition must not be allowed to be inquired into.

Last Friday, the Congress submitted an unprecedented opposition notice for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

Nariman said the Rajya Sabha chairman was right in deciding against admitting the notice given by the Congress-led Opposition.