Venkaiah Naidu rejects impeachment notice against CJI 

Venkaiah Naidu rejects impeachment notice against CJI 

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. PTI file photo

Rajya Sabha Vice Chairman M Venkiah Naidu on Monday rejected the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra submitted by 64 MPs of the Opposition three days ago, saying they were "unsure of their own case" and did not provide any conclusive proof.

The decision, which is a set back for the Congress-led Opposition, by Naidu came after he cut short his visit to Hyderabad on Sunday and consulted legal experts like Attorney General KK Venugopal and former Attorney General K Parasaran as well as former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash Kashyap, former law secretary PK Malhotra and former legislative secretary Sanjay Singh. 

In his 10-page order, Naidu said, "having considered the material contained in the notice of motion and reflected upon the inputs received  in my interaction with legal luminaries and Constitutional experts, I am of the firm opinion that the notice of motion does not deserve to be admitted."

Read the full text of the Order here:

"I am of the clear opinion that all facts, as state in the not make out a case under Article 124(4) of the Constitution which can lead any reasonable mind  to conclude that the Chief Justice of India on these facts can ever be held guilty of misbehaviour," he said.

Citing the coinages in the motion like the CJI "may have been involved in a conspiracy of paying illegal gratification" and "appears to", Naidu said the MPs who signed the petition were "unsure of their own case".

"I am mentioning this fact because the phrases used by the MPs themselves indicate a mere suspicion, a conjecture or an assumption. The same certainly not constitute proof 'beyond reasonable doubt, which is required to make a case of 'proved misconduct'," he said. His reference was regarding the allegation made by the Opposition over the CJI's conduct related to the disposal of a case against Prasad Education Trust in which a former High Court judge was arrested.

On the issue of Master of Roster issue in Supreme Court on which four senior-most judges had held a press conference, Naidu said it was an internal matter and it did not come under the scope of impeachment. "I am of the view that they are neither tenable nor admissible," he said. 

Naidu also found fault with the Opposition leaders holding a press conference on Friday soon after submitting the motion to the Chairman.

On Sunday, DH had reported that Naidu may reject the motion as the handbook for members of the Rajya Sabha says 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.

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