Eminent jurist Fali S Nariman on Monday said the issues raised in the Notice for Removal of CJI Dipak Misra were not of “sufficient gravity and rightly rejected” by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. Nariman also said that the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, was the only statutory authority to take the decision on the notice.
The notice was moved by the Congress and seven other opposition parties against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) last week.
“He (Naidu) was the only statutory authority to take that decision and in my view he has rightly taken the decision. The grounds raised in the impeachment notice are not of sufficient gravity.
“When you have a man like the chief justice of the Supreme Court, it (impeachment notice) has to have something that is far more important than just saying he did not do this or that. The vice president has the statutory authority and he has rightly rejected the notice,” Nariman told.
He also said this move by the opposition led by the Congress was only to demean the institution of the Supreme Court and it was not about Justice Misra.
“It only demeans the institution which he is heading. This is the problem, they are all thinking of justice Misra, but I am not thinking of Mr Misra, I am thinking of the Supreme Court. It is the institution, which is now being denigrated. I am very sorry that it happened in my lifetime. I never expected this to happen,” the senior lawyer said.
Another eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee said that Congress-led opposition had no chance to succeed in the Supreme Court against the Chairman’s decision.
When asked about the procedure ahead if the opposition moves the apex court to challenge the decision of Naidu, Rajya Sabha chairman, Sorabjee said “I don’t see chances of the writ petition (challenging the Naidu’s decision) succeeding,” he said.
“The vice president has applied his mind. He has consulted legal experts and has come to a decision. We did not want the matter hanging indefinitely… He (Naidu) has gone into the matter and found no merit in it and no ground for impeachment, therefore, he rejected it,” Sorabjee told a TV channel.
The Vice President has rejected the impeachment notice against the CJI, citing lack of substantial merit in it.
“We cannot allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by any thought, word or action,” the vice president said in his order.
Former Law Secretary PK Malhotra, who was consulted by Chairman Naidu, backed his decision, saying it seemed that the notice lacked merit.
“I have gone through the order and I must say that the Chairman has passed a very detailed order. If you are not supporting your allegations with the substantial material, then on what basis will the Chairman or even the Speaker of Lok Sabha will form a committee to look into the allegations,” he told RSTV.
Citing the order, he said it shows that people who have moved this motion are not sure themselves.
“Constitution permits or gives security of tenure to these judges so that they can discharge their functions independently and without any fear,” PK Malhotra, said.