RS chairman may reject move to impeach CJI

As the impeachment notice given by seven Opposition parties against CJI Dipak Mishra on Friday has kicked up a storm, there are indications that Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu is unlikely to admit it.

The joint press conference of Opposition parties on Friday could be cited as one of the reasons for not admitting the motion as there is a view that it was a “clear violation” of Parliament customs and conventions as well as rules of procedure and conduct of business.

Naidu may also take into account the fact that the CJI is retiring in just six months and the process of impeachment, even if started, will not be completed within the period.

Sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat maintain that the press conference by leaders of the Congress and other parties and making public the contents of their Notice of Impeachment Motion against the CJI, could be considered a “clear violation” of the provisions.

According to the handbook for members of the Rajya Sabha, no advance publicity should be given to any notice, which is to be taken up in the House till it is admitted by the Chairman. This assumes importance in the context of the “political overtones” surrounding the first-of-its-kind move against the CJI.

Rajya Sabha Secretariat officials to whom the impeachment notice has been referred to by Naidu, have identified this “violation”, sources say. They are the ones preparing the file.

Similarly, in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha, Rule 334 elaborates on the subject of prohibition of advance publicity of notices.

“A notice shall not be given publicity by any member or other person until it has been admitted by the Speaker and circulated to members,” it says. The particular rule also provides that a notice of a question shall not be given any publicity till the day on which the question is answered in the House.

There is also a view that in case of Justice Misra, there is no time to complete the impeachment process. Justice Misra, who was appointed as CJI on August 28 last year, retires on October 2.

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