Did not want to involve ex-PM Manmohan: Congress

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not a signatory to the motion for removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. PTI file photo

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not a signatory to the motion for removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

Singh had voiced reservations over the move to launch impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice of India contending that institutions needed to be respected. Former finance minister P Chidambaram too is not a signatory to the motion that has the backing of 64 Rajya Sabha members.

However, Congress leaders insisted that Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi had fully supported the decision to launch the impeachment proceedings against the CJI.

“We did not involve Manmohan Singh intentionally as we did not want to involve the office of the former prime minister,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

He was responding to questions on Singh's “refusal” to back the move.

“We also did not want a few others to be embarrassed as certain matters are pending,” Sibal said to questions over political parties backing out of the move. The DMK, which had earlier agreed to be part of the motion, backed out, while the Trinamool Congress did not support the move.

Even the Congress ranks were divided with senior leader and former law minister Salman Khurshid expressing reservations over the move.

“Impeachment is too serious a matter to be played with frivolously on the grounds of disagreement with any judgement or point of view of the court,” Khurshid told reporters here.

Khurshid, who is a former Member of Parliament, said that he was not privy to the discussions on the impeachment motion.

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