A petition by two Congress MPs against Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu's rejection of an impeachment motion against Supreme Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra was withdrawn on Tuesday.
The petition was withdrawn by senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal who was the counsel for the two petitioners, Partap Singh Bajwa (Punjab) and Amee Harshadray Yajnik (Gujarat), both Congress MPs
Here are the highlights of Tuesday's hearing in the Supreme Court:
1. Kapil Sibal withdrew the petition after the apex court bench, comprising Justices A K Sikri, SA Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun K Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel, rejected his demand to get a copy of the administrative order which led to the formation of the bench for hearing this matter.
2. The bench asked Sibal why was he seeking the copy of the administrative order setting up five-judge bench to hear the case. Sibal said the bench should clarify who passed the order, adding he needed the copy of the order so that he could challenge it.
3. Sibal pointed out that the matter could be referred to a Constitution Bench only by a judicial order and wondered how could it be done by an administrative order.
4. Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, however, wondered if there was a bar on directly referring the matter to a five-judge bench by an administrative order.
5. The bench reminded Sibal that at the outset of the hearing he had said that he has no personal agenda and that he was for upholding the dignity of the court
6. However, Sibal countered the bench by saying, "Will the dignity of the court be jeopardized if you give me that (administrative) order (constituting five judge bench). It is not a secret document under the National Security Act."
7. Appearing for Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Attorney General KK Venugopal said the Chief Justice had discretionary powers on the administrative side to allocate any matter to any bench of whatever strength.
8. Venugopal also pointed out that the notice for the motion for the removal of Chief Justice Misra was moved by 64 MPs belonging to seven political parties including Congress but only two of the signatories had moved the court challenging the April 23 decision."Let 50 of the 64 MPs who had moved the notice of removal pass a resolution authorising Bajwa and Yajnik to move the court," he said.
9. "The presumption is that all others have not supported the stand taken by the Congress party to challenge the rejection of impeachment notice by Naidu," Venugopal told the court.
10. Taking a jibe at Venugopal's argument, Sibal asked why two people could not challenge the decision and asked him if the remaining 62 have told him that they did not support Bajwa and Yajnik. "I will satisfy you. I will bring 60. You will be satisfied," Sibal told Venugopal.