Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today rejected the notice given by Congress-led Opposition parties for the impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra citing lack of substantial merit in it. Naidu took the decision after an extensive consultation with legal luminaries, constitutional experts and former Secretary Generals of both the houses, former law officers, law commission members and eminent jurists.
Here are the excerpts of the order given by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu rejecting Opposition's impeachment plea against CJI Dipak Misra:
#Charges made on suspicion, assumption
In his 10-page order, Naidu explained that the Parliamentarians were unsure of their own allegations made against the CJI. "...the phrases used by the Hon'ble Members of Parliament themselves indicate a mere suspicion, a conjecture or an assumption. The same certainly does not constitute proof 'beyond reasonable doubt', which is required to make out a case of 'proved misbehaviour' under Article 124 (4). Conversations between third parties with dubious credentials, which have been extensively relied upon, cannot themselves constitute any material evidence against the holder of the office of Chief Justice Justice of India.
#Making rosters an internal matter to be resolved by the SC itself
"A Bench of five honourable judges has also reaffirmed the settled position that the CJI is the Master of the roster... Clearly, this is an internal matter to be resolved by the Supreme Court itself.
#None of the five allegations in notice tenable or admissible
"Going through the five allegations mentioned in the Notice, I am of the view that they are neither tenable nor admissible. The allegations emerging from the present case have a serious tendency of undermining the independence of judiciary which is the basic tenet of the Constitution of India. Considering the totality of facts, I am of the firm opinion that it is neither legal not desirable or proper to admit the Notion of Motion on any of these grounds," the Vice President said in the order.
#Allegations seriously undermine independence of judiciary
"The provisions of the Constitution bear ample testimony to the proposition that the Constitution seeks to establish and nurture an independent judiciary. The founding fathers of the Constitution were eloquent about it. Various articles of the Constitution seek to protect the independence of the Judiciary by providing appropriate safeguards against unwarranted interference either by the legislature of the Executive."
#Case under article 124(4) of constitution not made
"I have applied my mind to each of the five charges as made out in the Motion. I have examined all the documents annexed in the motion. I am of clear opinion that all facts, as stated in the motion, read with the context of the annexed documents, do not make out a under Article 124 (4) of the Constitution which can lead any reasonable mind to conclude that the Chief Justice of India on these facts can ever be held guilty of 'misbehaviour'.
#No concrete verifiable imputation
"On a careful analysis and reflection, I find that there is virtually no concrete verifiable imputation. Either the allegations are within judicial domain and concern the internal judicial processes or there are unsubstantiated surmises and conjectures which hardly merit or necessitate further investigation
#Satisfied that notice of motion is neither desirable nor proper
“In the absence of credible and verifiable information placed before me which gives an indication of ‘misbehaviour’ or ‘incapacity’, it would be an inappropriate and irresponsible act to accept statements which have little empirical basis. As heirs to an illustrious democratic tradition and custodians of the present and future of democratic polity, we should, in my view, collectively strengthen and not erode the foundations of the grand edifice bequeathed to us by the Constitution makers. We cannot allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by an thought, word or action. ..In the end after having perused annexures to the motion and having detailed consultations and having studied the opinions of Constitutional experts, I am satisfied that admission of this Notice of Motion is neither desirable nor proper," Naidu said.
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