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Naidu rejected the impeachment notice citing lack of substantial merit in it, news agency PTI reported quoting sources.
Congress leaders said over the weekend that the party is considering moving the Supreme Court if the notice to impeach is rejected.
On Friday, as many as 64 Parliamentarians (MPs) belonging to seven political parties signed the notice for impeachment proceedings against the CJI. They include MPs from the Congress, the NCP, CPM, the CPI, the SP, the BSP and the Muslim League.
Article 124(4) of the Constitution lays down the procedure for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court, including the CJI, who can be impeached on grounds of “misbehaviour or incapacity”. A removal motion signed by 100 members of Lok Sabha or 50 members of Rajya Sabha has to be submitted to the Speaker of the Lower House or Chairperson (ie Vice President) of the Upper House. This can be in either of the Houses of Parliament. The Speaker/Chairperson can then either accept or reject the motion.
Vice president Naidu, to whom the notice was submitted owing to his position as Rajya Sabha Chairman, yesterday set in motion the process of consultation on the impeachment notice against the CJI and held discussions with a number of constitutional and legal experts, including Attorney General KK Venugopal, and former top law officer K Parasaran.
Officials told PTI news agency that Naidu spoke to former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash Kashyap, ex-law secretary P K Malhotra and former legislative secretary Sanjay Singh as well about the issue. He also held deliberations with senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, they said, adding that Naidu also spoke to former Supreme Court judge B Sudarshan Reddy.
The officials said the vice president also spoke to the attorney general on the issue. Naidu continued with the deliberations till late in the evening and also spoke to K Parasaran, who was the attorney general during the Congress governments led by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and was also a member to the Upper House nominated by the party.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Friday the impeachment the notice mentions five grounds of misbehaviour for the CJI’s impeachment.
“Since CJI Dipak Mishra come, questions have been raised about his conduct. It showed in the January 12 press conference of four judges of Supreme Court. One concern of the four judges was memorandum of procedure was being unsettled,” said Sibal after the parties submitted the impeachment notice to Naidu.
Sibal was referring to an extraordinary press conference called in January by four most senior SC judges.
(With inputs from PTI)