New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday withdrew its petition on the impeachment move against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, which was recently rejected by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
After a 45-minute hearing, a five-judge bench headed by Justice AK Sikri declared the petition dismissed as withdrawn.
Petitioners, two Congress Rajya Sabha parliamentarians -- Pratap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik -- questioned the decision to assign the case to a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court.
Representing the lawmakers, senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal said the case was listed before the constitution bench through an administrative order and the Chief Justice "can't pass such orders" as it was conflict of interest. Sibal questioned who had passed the order.
"It is grossly illegal, grossly unfair and against the principles of natural justice," said lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
After senior advocate Kapil Sibal raised some objections on the setting up of the five-judge constitution bench to hear the matter, Attorney General KK Venugopal said only two MPs of Congress have approached the apex court.
Venugopal submitted that six other parties, which had given a notice for impeachment, did not move the top court.
The AG said "the presumption is that all others have not supported the stand taken by the Congress to challenge the rejection of impeachment notice by Naidu."
The petition which was filed on Monday had said Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's decision to reject the Opposition's impeachment notice was "illegal and arbitrary" and taken in a "cavalier, cryptic and abrupt manner", without an inquiry.
The judges assigned to hear the Congress' challenge were Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and AK Goel.
Justices Bobde and Ramana are both in line for chief justice. Justice Sikri, who will head the bench, is number six in seniority.
In April, the impeachment petition signed by over 60 Rajya Sabha parliamentarians called for Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra's impeachment six months before he retires.
The motion "doesn't deserve to be admitted", Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said just three days later....