The PIL sought guidelines/modalities to be laid down, in respect of regulating the procedure to be followed by the MPs.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday described as “unfortunate and very disturbing”, the recent public discussions of the proposed impeachment of Chief Ju-stice of India Dipak Misra and sought the assistance of the attorney-general to decide a PIL seeking guidelines on such discussions in the media and by the legislators.
Even as the court took up this matter, Congress MPs submitted an “impeachment motion” against CJI Dipak Misra to vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
A bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan made this observation during the course of hearing of a PIL filed by NGO In Pursuit of Justice, which sought a restraint order on such discussions. Senior counsel Meenakshi Arora, who appeared for the petitioner, brought to the notice of the court about the discussions taking place and said these discussions amounted to tarnish the image and scandalise the judiciary.
The bench orally observed, “We are very disturbed about what has been happening... It is very unfortunate what is happening. We will seek the assistance of the A-G to examine this matter.”
Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the NGO, submitted that a judge cannot act fearlessly if such discourse takes place while he is in office and the re-moval motion has not even been brought. She pointed out that under Article 121 of the Constitution, even parliamentarians are restricted to discuss the conduct of a judge up to a certain stage. How can these legislators, as private citizens, talk about the same issue as and when they want? This will impact independence of the judiciary,” argued Ms. Arora.
The bench said that she was right in her submissions, but the court will need to examine if a restraint order can be issued through a valid judicial order.
The PIL sought guidelines/modalities to be laid down, in respect of regulating the procedure to be followed by the MPs, desirous of initiating proceedings for removal of a judge of the SC or a high court, prior to initiating a motion under Article 124(4) and (5) and 217 (1)(b) of the Constitution.