VP proceeds cautiously with CJI Impeachment motion

 

The impeachment motion of Chief Justice Deepak Mishra has reached the office of the Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu and the VP has started legal consultations in this regard. However, the VP is likely to take some time to decide the fate of the motion.

The VP is set to scrutinize court records to learn if the evidence provided by the opposition is valid and amounts to “proved misconduct and incapability” – necessary grounds for the removal of a judge. If the evidence fails to satisfy him, the motion will not proceed any further.

This kind of opposition notice against the Chief Justice is unprecedented and it appears that the VP is very particular that all legal and constitutional arguments are considered and any subsequent action on the notice is well reasoned.

Since the decision is bound to the reputation of CJI Misra and his standing and the public perception of the judiciary system, the VP is likely to take due time before proceeding. It is known that if the VP refuses to admit the motion, the opposition plans to move the Supreme Court to seek a direction to the Upper House Chairman to consider the motion.

Reportedly, the VP has started the process of holding discussions with constitutional and legal experts, including Attorney General KK Venugopal. As per reports, the VP has already spoken to former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash Kashyap, ex-law secretary P K Malhotra, former legislative secretary Sanjay Singh, former Supreme Court judge B Sudarshan Reddy and senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

Sources said that it has been conveyed to the VP that public disclosure of the contents of a motion before it is admitted by the chair is a breach of the rules of the parliament.

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