Congress yet to move court over RS Speaker’s rejection of motion to remove CJI Dipak Misra
Ten days after the motion was rejected, Congress seems to be divided on the timing and utility of moving a court, but a leader says “there is no question of not doing it”.Updated: May 04, 2018 09:48 IST
Ten days after stating that it will challenge Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the opposition’s notice for removal of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, the Congress is yet to move the Supreme Court, although party leaders insisted that they would do it “soon”.
A Congress leader, who was one of the key movers of the CJI removal motion, said the party would indeed challenge the RS chair’s order in the Supreme Court.
“There is no question of not doing it. We maintain that the Chair did not have the mandate to reject the notice on merit. We have made a public announcement from the party platform and will follow up and move the court soon,” he said.
But in a reflection of the division that preceded the filing of the notice, the party appears divided on the timing and utility of the challenge.
Another Congress leader said, “We want to let the Justice KM Joseph elevation issue to play out. We are seeing an executive-judiciary standoff and internal contradictions within the judiciary where most judges want the CJI to take a stand. Why divert the debate right now?”
But the first leader said these two issues were separate and the party would stick to its stand. He asserted that “the core issue is political. BJP is undermining the judiciary. We will keep this debate alive and make it an electoral issue in 2019.”
However, there were notes of caution within the Congress too. A top functionary said the party must not be seen as “targeting” the CJI to influence a judgement.
The Congress and six other opposition parties last month moved a notice of an impeachment motion for the removal of the Chief Justice Dipak Misra on five grounds of “misbehaviour”, the first time in the history of India. However, Naidu rejected the notice on the grounds that the allegations lacked merit.
On April 23, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had termed Naidu’s order as “unprecedented, illegal, ill-advised and hasty” and asserted that the party will challenge it in the Supreme Court.
He had also hoped that the Chief Justice would have “nothing to do” with the petition when it would come up for listing in the court. As the master of the roster, it is the chief justice who assigns cases.