Two Congress RS members move SC against rejection of CJI impeachment notice

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Two Rajya Sabha members on Monday moved the Supreme Court, challenging Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu's decision to reject a notice seeking impeachment of Chief Justice Dipak Misra. "It deserves to be set aside for being wholly extraneous and ultra vires to the provisions of the Constitution of India and the Inquiry Act", the petition said.

Two Rajya Sabha MPs who have approached the apex court are - Pratap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik.

The petition said, "That Chief Justice Dipak Misra acquired land when he was an advocate, by giving an affidavit that was found to be false and despite the orders of the ADM cancelling the allotment in 1985, surrendered the said land only in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court".

Today, senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentions the matter before Justice J Chelameswar for urgent listing stating that CJI can't list it nor can decide who will hear this.

The petition notes that only one of the charges levelled against CJI Dipak Misra have been discussed in detail by Naidu, that of the master of roster power.

However, Justice Chelameswar asked Sibal and Prashant Bhushan to come back tomorrow (Tuesday).

"I am aware of the procedure but it can't be mentioned anywhere else.

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In these circumstances, to say that he had consulted legal luminaries, constitutional experts, former Secretary Generals, former Law Officers, Law Commission Members and eminent Jurists and also had personal conversations with them does not appear to be probable". "If a matter can not be mentioned before the CJI then it is supposed to be heard here".

Earlier on April 17, Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu had rejected the notice by Congress-led seven Opposition parties to impeach Chief Justice Misra on five grounds of "misbehaviour" as he said the allegations were neither "tenable nor admissible".

He had also hoped that the Chief Justice would have "nothing to do" with the petition when it would come up for listing in the court.

The fifth and final charge being that the CJI "abused his administrative authority as master of roster to arbitrarily assign individual cases of particular advocates in politically sensitive cases, to select judges in order to achieve a predetermined outcome".

The petitioners also doubted the consultation process undertaken by the RS chairman saying the notice of the motion was given on April 20 and it was rejected on April 23, during which period Naidu was mostly outside Delhi on vice-presidential engagements.

Said Sibal to Chelameswar: "I have been in practice for 45 years".