Vice President rejected Impeachment Motion against Deepak Misra, Chief Justice of India

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday rejected the Impeachment Motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.

Naidu said, “I have applied my mind to all five charges made out in Impeachment Motion and examined all annexed documents. All facts as stated in motion don’t make out a case which can lead any reasonable mind to conclude that CJI on these facts can be ever held guilty of misbehaviour.”

“After having perused annexures to the Motion and having detailed consultations and having studied opinions of constitutional experts I am satisfied that admission of this notice of Impeachment Motion is neither desirable nor proper,” he said.

The Vice President had consulted Attorney-General KK Venugopal, former law officer K Parasaran, retired Supreme Court judge Sudarshan Reddy, former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, former Law Secretary PK Malhotra and former Legislative Secretary of the Rajya Sabha Sanjay Singh while deciding on the impeachment motion, said news reports.

On April 20, the opposition parties led by Congress moved the impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha, seeking the removal of CJI Misra under Article 217 read with article 124 (4) of the Constitution of India. The motion was signed by 64 sitting members of the House.

As per Article 124 (4), “A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.”

Reactions:

Congress Spokeperson Surjewala Says, “RS Chairman can’t adjudge the motion, for he has no mandate to decide the merits of the motion.”

Notably, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted that the vice president has no powers state that the charges are not valid. Bhushan said “What! VP Naidu rejects impeachment motion against CJI signed by 64 RS MPs! On what grounds? He has no power to say that charges are not made out. That’s for the inquiry committee of 3 judges. He only has to see if it’s signed by [more than] 50 MPs and possibly if charges are of misbehaviour”.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday extended his support to the decision taken Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu to scrap the impeachment motion moved against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.

Speaking to the media, Swamy said that the Congress has committed ‘suicide’ by moving notice to impeach CJI Misra.

He said that the vice president took the decision after due consideration.

“It should have been considered null and void and thrown out from the beginning. The Congress committed suicide by doing this,” Swamy said.

Reacting on the rejection of Impeachment Motion notice against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Congress leader PL Punia said that the party will talk to legal experts to take the next step.

“This is a really important matter. We don’t know what was the reason for the rejection. Congress and other opposition parties will talk to some legal experts and take the next step,” Punia told ANI.