Congress wants sword hanging over CJI, says Jaitley

Congress wants sword hanging over CJI, says Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the Congress wanted a sword hanging over Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and, hence, moved the Supreme Court challenging the rejection of impeachment notice against Justice Misra by the Rajya Sabha Chairman, though it was "unarguable."

Jaitley was responding to the withdrawal of a petition by two Congress MPs challenging RS Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s rejection, after the apex court's Constitution bench refused to give the petitioners details of the administrative order passed for setting up the bench, Jaitley said the Congress party’s impeachment motion against CJI was wholly misconceived.

"It is poorly drafted and lacked in substance. Many of its traditional allies were not willing to take on this confrontation with the judicial institutions. Finding a divided court, the Congress wanted to fish in troubled waters," he said.

Jaitley said, "If the motion for impeachment was unsustainable, the writ petition challenging the order of the Rajya Sabha Chairman was unarguable. The rejection of a motion by a Speaker or the Chairman is a part of the legislative process. It was a well-reasoned order. The rulings of the Chair on whether to admit a motion or otherwise, are not subject to judicial review."

The finance minister said, "Wanting to fish in troubled waters, the Congress conceived of a strategy to choose a court of its choice for mentioning so that an unarguable matter could be arguable before a more receptive court. The Congress party was looking for a friendly pitch to bowl on."

Jaitley said the judgement in the death of Bombay High Court judge B H Loya had already exposed the "hallucination of the Congress party where it concocted the unnatural death theory. It now wanted a sword to hang over the Chief Justice and, thus, over the Apex Court. Its efforts at “forum shopping” having failed, it refused to argue its unarguable case on merits."

Cong on fringe

Jaitley said, "Does it behove a national party to deviate from the mainstream and take such fringe position? Fringe organisations have no hope of ever coming to power. They can, therefore, afford to take positions which they will never have to implement. But can a party having ruled India for such a long tenure, push itself to take fringe position one after the other? This in reality is the price which each Congressman will pay because their leader has decided that fringe positions are better than the mainstream one. The Congressmen in Karnataka will be the immediate victims."

Jaitley said the Congress was regarded as the grand old party of Indian politics and now, "the most alarming aspect of the party has been that from a grand old party which occupied centre-stage, it is being pushed to the fringe."