New Delhi: The Congress after meeting Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday confirmed that 71 MPs had signed the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
"We have moved an impeachment motion seeking the removal of CJI Dipak Misra", Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in a press conference after the meet.
Azad said the opposition has more than the minimum requirement needed to entertain the motion and asserted that they were sure of the Vice President taking the action.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that it was unfortunate that such a day had come in the fabric of the constitutional framework.
Alleging that CJI Deepak Misra violated constitutional norms while exercising his powers, Sibal said, "Since the day he (Dipak Misra) was appointed as CJI there have been questions raised in the manner in which he has dealt with certain cases".
"When the judges of the Supreme Court themselves believe that the Judiciary's independence is at threat, alluding to the functioning of the office of the CJI, should the nation stand still and do nothing?" Sibal asked.
However, senior Congress leader and lawyer Salman Khurshid chose to stay away from the impeachment motion initiated by Congress and six other parties.
"I am not party to or privy with discussions that have taken place between different parties and for me to reflect specifically on whether the grounds are justified would be unfair," Khurshid told reporters.
"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," he said.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh did not sign the impeachment notice. He was 'intentionally' not involved as he has been the Prime Minister, Sibal said.
The Opposition parties on Friday met Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and handed over a notice seeking the impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
Lawmakers from Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Muslim League had signed the notice.
Since January, several opposition parties have been pushing for impeachment of Justice Dipak Misra. The idea was proposed by the Left Front, days after four senior most judges of the Supreme Court went public with the allegation that the Chief Justice was abusing his position as "master of the roster" and sensitive cases were being allocated to junior judges.
Special CBI Judge BH Loya’s death case, which was initially handed to a judge low in the Supreme Court hierarchy, was one of the cases the judges pointed at.
The Congress, on Thursday, expressed its disappointment over SC’s verdict dismissing pleas seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI Judge BH Loya.
The Congress called the verdict a "sad letter day in India's history" and claimed that "there are still questions before those who believe in the judiciary".
— INC Sandesh (@INCSandesh) April 20, 2018