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Naidu’s ‘no’ to CJI impeachment clears way for Ayodhya case hearing?

Naidu’s ‘no’ to CJI impeachment clears way for Ayodhya case hearing?

New Delhi: Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday that the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra lacked substantial facts to hold the latter guilty of misbehaviour. However, the decision may impact the political discourse ahead of elections in 2019, it has cleared the way for final hearing of the Ayodhya title suit by CJI’s bench.

If the judgment would pronounce in favour of Ram Mandir, may give an impetus to the BJP campaign in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. According to a report published in Economic Times, the BJP would try to use an adverse judgment to reap electoral benefits. BJP leaders preferring anonymity have claimed that the impeachment motion was politically motivated and aimed at scuttling the Ram Janmabhoomi case. Now that the CJI would not have to recuse himself, BJP has reasons to hope that judgment in the case would be ready before his retirement on October 2.

Naidu said, “I have applied my mind to all five charges made out in Impeachment Motion and examined all annexed documents. All facts as stated in motion don’t make out a case which can lead any reasonable mind to conclude that CJI on these facts can be ever held guilty of misbehaviour.”

“After having perused annexures to the Motion and having detailed consultations and having studied opinions of constitutional experts I am satisfied that admission of this notice of Impeachment Motion is neither desirable nor proper,” he said.

As per the Supreme Court officials, all judges of the apex court, including CJI Dipak Misra, held a 20-minute meeting, after the impeachment motion was rejected. According to reports, Naidu, in his capacity as the Rajya Sabha Chairman, held broad consultations with legal and constitutional experts before coming to the conclusion.

The rejection of the notice comes a day after he held the consultations with such experts to determine the maintainability of the motion. The Constitution says the CJI can be impeached only on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

On April 20, the opposition parties led by Congress moved the impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha, seeking the removal of CJI Misra under Article 217 read with article 124 (4) of the Constitution of India. The motion was signed by 64 sitting members of the House.

As per Article 124 (4), “A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.”

Siasat Web Team