Petition that was a direct challenge to the CJI was politically motivated and the Cong case was rightfully thrown out by the SC
The petition challenging vice-president and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the notice of removal motion against CJI Dipak Misra from the Supreme Court was dismissed by a full bench of the Supreme Court today.
The case was dismissed when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for two Congress Rajya Sabha MPs, abruptly withdrew the petition.
Sibal wanted the top court to give him the administrative order passed by the CJI that referred the petition to the five-judge bench. But the judges repeatedly asked Sibal what purpose it would serve if he was given the copy.
Sibal argued that that only after getting the order would he decide whether to challenge it or accept it. This is like saying let the murder first take place and then it shall be decided if it has to be challenged or not.
Sibal’s plea was just an excuse to wriggle out of a case that has brought shame and disgrace to the Congress. Shame and disgrace because the petition was politically motivated and a challenge to the independence and integrity of the apex court.
The Supreme Court rightfully expressed reluctance to part with the administrative order. Sibal then abruptly decided to withdraw the petition.
If administrative orders are to be handed out freely, petitioners can seek such orders of the Cabinet or even that of the President of India.
The present petition was filed by two Congress Rajya Sabha MPs — Partap Singh Bajwa from Punjab and Amee Harshadray Yajnik from Gujarat — challenging the vice-president’s decision to throw out the notice that was a bid to impeach the Chief Justice.
Soon after Sibal withdrew the petition, the five-judge bench of Justices A K Sikri, SA Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun K Mishra and Adarsh K Girl dismissed the petition as withdrawn.
Earlier, two advocates R P Luthra and Ashwini Upadhyay, argued that the Bar Council of India prohibits those advocate politicians who have signed the notice of removal motion from arguing the same case. But the apex court said it was for Sibal to decide whether to argue or not.
Sibal did not comment on this.
The bench hearing the case was headed by Justice Sikri. It did not include the senior judges — Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — who held an unprecedented press conference on January 12 to accuse the CJI of arbitrarily allocating important cases to “select benches headed by junior judges”.
Since they raised the accusations, obviously they could not sit in judgement too as this would have been against the principles of natural justice.
In his order, Naidu had said the motion did not meet the requirement of “proved misconduct” and lacked “substantial and verifiable” evidence of wrongdoing and that opposition MPs were themselves unsure as reflected by their use of phrases like “may have been” and “appears to have” while stating their case.