Under the Constitution, 50 Rajya Sabha members and 100 Lok Sabha MPs can move an impeachment motion against a Supreme Court judge.
New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday kept “open-ended” the option of moving a motion of impeachment against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the coming Budget Session of Parliament, saying its leaders in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha would talk to other parties and then take a stand in the matter.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury had said on Tuesday that the Opposition parties are in talks with each other on moving an impeachment motion against the CJI two weeks after four senior judges questioned the allocation of cases in the Supreme Court.
“After talking to all parties, our leaders in both Houses will make our stand clear on the impeachment of CJI Misra,” Congress leader R.P.N. Singh told reporters.
Under the Constitution, 50 Rajya Sabha members and 100 Lok Sabha MPs can move an impeachment motion against a Supreme Court judge. Once a motion is moved, it is mandatory for the Chair to admit it and form a committee to enquire into the charges.
Sources said, however, that the Congress was far more interested in keeping up political pressure on the judiciary rather than actually moving a motion. A senior Congress leader said the party was a divided house on moving an impeachment motion. While some leaders like Kapil Sibal favour such a motion, others, like former ministers P. Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid, are against it.
Mr Yechury said on Tuesday that his party was reaching out to other Opposition parties to discuss the possibility of bringing an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dipak Misra. He said he had already got on board parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, the JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav faction and was in talks with the Samajwadi Party to move an impeachment motion against the CJI in the Rajya Sabha.
The Opposition parties have already called for a probe into the issues flagged by the four judges, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the judiciary should sort it out itself.
The Budget Session of Parliament is due to begin on January 29 and the 2018-19 Union Budget will be presented on February 1. The first phase of the session will end on February 9, and Parliament will meet again after the recess from March 5 to April 6.