The decision was not made in haste: Naidu

The decision was not made in haste: Naidu

Vice- President Venkaiah Naidu. PTI file photo

Under fire from the Opposition for rejecting the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra after just one day of consultation, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said the decision was made "a month after due deliberations".

These deliberations, where he was working on provisions, procedures and precedents, started much before the seven Opposition submitted the notice for impeachment on April 20, and that the decision was not "a hasty one", Naidu said. He said he had been referring to media reports on the proposed impeachment for over a month.

He also said the decision was in strict conformity with the provisions of the Constitution and the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968.

The Congress, Left and other Opposition parties have been going hammer and tongs against Naidu, questioning his mandate in rejecting the motion.

The Rajya Sabha, while speaking to a group of lawyers who met on Tuesday morning that he was well within his rights to have made the decision, and that the office of the Rajya Sabha Chairman is "not a mere post office", but a constitutional functionary.

He said that while some of the MPs had a point of view and the right to express it, he had a responsibility and that he has done his job and is satisfied with it. Sources said the lawyers were congratulating him on the decision.

The Chairman further said, "The concerned law (The Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, Section 3) clearly required the Chairman of Rajya Sabha to look for prima facie in the matter for either admitting the notice or refusing to do so."

According to sources, Naidu also referred to the adverse consequences of constitutional functionaries not acting in time, as in the case of defection in some states, which results in the subversion of the spirit of the laws.

Sources also cited section 3(1) of The Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968, which says, "the Chairman may, after consulting such persons, if any, as he thinks fit and after considering such materials, if any, as may be available to him, either admit the motion or refuse to admit the same".

In the meeting, lawyers also referred to an earlier notice against Supreme Court judge J C Shah, which was rejected by the then Lok Sabha Speaker G S Dhillon and the notice for the removal of Sikkim High Court Chief Justice Justice P D Dinakaran, which was admitted within three days.

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