Going public to cost Opposition CJI impeachment?

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The motion, incidentally, has not yet been admitted and the ball is now in the court of Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Manmohan Singh (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha secretariat is likely to “object” to the Opposition move of making public the content of the impeachment notice against the Chief Justice of India. Sources revealed that the Rajya Sabha secretariat on Saturday made it clear that as per the rule: “A member should not raise the issue of a notice given by him in pending consideration of the Chairman”.

According to parliamentary customs and conventions, “A notice for raising a matter in the House should not be given publicity by any member or any other person until it has been admitted by the Chairman and circulated to members.”

The motion, incidentally, has not yet been admitted and the ball is now in the court of Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.  It was being argued that with the Opposition jumping the gun, the motion might now not even be considered by Mr Naidu.

Meanwhile, a section of  Congress leaders have begun questioning the “legitimacy” of their party’s imepachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra with former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh not putting his name in the list of signatories in the notice. While the Congress indicated that the party did not want to “involve” the senior leader, some insiders claimed that the former Prime Minister was “against” the move as it could have “serious consequences” in the near future. “He is the former Prime Minister and a member of Rajya Sabha. His name missing from the list of signatories clearly indicates that the former Prime Minister is not with the party on this issue,” a senior party leader, who has been against the move, said.

Those against the move argued that “not only does Congress not gain anything elecotrally, but will also be setting a bad precedent of abusing the impeachment provision”. They were also of the opinion that it would be a “political disaster”. Many of UPA’s former law ministers — Salman Khurshid, Veerappa Moily, Ashwini Kumar, along with Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi were against the party filing the impeachment motion. The name of former finance minister P. Chidambaram was also missing from the notice. It is believed that Mr Chidambaram was not asked to sign since his son Karti Chidambaram’s case is still being heard.  

However, those who had earlier objected fell in line with the Congress high command cracking the whip, sources said.

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju hit out at the Congress-led Opposition on Saturday for spearheading an unprecedented move to impeach the CJI. Mr Rijiju claimed that the Congress does not trust the Indian Army, the Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, Election Commission, EVMs, RBI, the Prime Minister or the President.