Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday rejected a notice by seven Opposition parties led by the Congress seeking the impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Naidu, also the Rajya Sabha Chairman, had consulted legal experts over the weekend following the notice issued by the Opposition members. PTI reports that Naidu rejected the notice saying it lacked ‘substantial merit’. The order comes minutes before the Supreme Court convenes for the day.
Seven opposition parties, led by the Congress, had sought the impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra accusing him of corruption, misusing his authority and failing to protect the independence of the judiciary. Leaders of the seven parties met with Vice-President Naidu last week and handed over a notice bearing signatures of 64 MPs and seven former MPs, who recently retired. Trinamool Congress and the DMK were not part of the move.
The vice president spoke to former Attorney General K Parasaran, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash Kashyap, former Law Secretary PK Malhotra and Attorney General KK Venugopal, officials told PTI. He also met senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal had rejected the possibility that Naidu could dismiss the impeachment motion. “He [Naidu] has no jurisdiction,” Sibal said. “He cannot decide on the merits of the motion. He can only decide on the procedure.” Officials in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat have said that the Opposition parties violated rules by making their impeachment notice public even before Naidu had accepted it.