Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today rejected the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Deepak Misra saying there is no merit in the charges against the CJI. On Friday, 64 members of Parliament belonging to Congress, NCP, Muslim League, CPM, CPI, Samajwadi Party and BSP, signed the impeachment motion against CJI Deepak Mishra. According to the section 124(4) of the constitution, impeachment motion can be brought against the CJI on the grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity.
However, the full frontal assault by Congress against judiciary just because the verdict was not favouring their interest, has not been received well. The move was labelled as “a horrible black day in the history of Supreme Court” by senior jurist Fali Nariman. As per Indian Express, Nariman pointed out that the charges brought by the Congress-led Opposition are not in line with what the four senior judges, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan Lokur, had stated in their press conference held in January this year. This move of senior judges had disappointed former Attorney Journal Soli Sorabjee and former SC Justice Santosh Hegde. Speaking on the discrepancies between the judges’ grievances and Opposition’s motion, Fali Nariman pointed out that one of the charges by the Opposition is a forgery. But the four judges did not subscribe to this charge. To level such a serious charge against the CJI one should have cogent evidence.
He further added that it was imperative to have ‘extraordinarily important grounds’ to impeach the CJI because ‘the final interpreters of the Constitution is the judiciary and not Parliament. The persons who finally and irrevocable interpret the Constitution are the highest court. Parliament can (only) pass a Constitutional amendment.’ He added that bringing forward such charges would amount to ‘destroying the Constitution’. He pointed out that former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh hasn’t signed the impeachment motion, especially since if he also believes the charges put by Congress are valid.
He pointed out how this will put up a precedent that the government can move an impeachment motion against any judge they don’t like, or who gives a verdict which does not favour them.
It is indeed tough being in the Opposition when you have been conditioned to be in power. The opposition wants us to believe that Modi is just so powerful that in four years that he has been the Prime Minister, every independent body from CBI to Supreme Court to educational institutes, has turned into a ‘caged parrot’. There were no award-wapasis before 2014, even when the country faced riots, hate crimes, many of which were perpetrated by people belonging to their own political party. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Suddenly intolerance was on a rise in India and now even judiciary is in danger. Retired civil servants are writing letters, saying we have failed as a nation. Earlier, similar such letter was written by some of the same former bureaucrats, during the run-up to Uttar Pradesh elections, which was swept clean by the BJP. Clearly, no such incidents happened prior to May 2014.
The Opposition’s well coordinated, synchronised efforts to create an environment of fear, danger deserves a huge round of applause. If only they had put in so much efforts to build the nation and its wealth, instead of their own personal agendas, things would have been different, perhaps.