Venkaiah Naidu rejects impeachment notice against Chief Ministers in India

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NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today rejected the notice given by opposition parties led by the Congress for impeachment of Chief Ministers in India (CJI) Dipak Misra citing lack of substantial merit in it.

Naidu held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts, including former chief justices and judges, before taking the decision, sources said.

The rejection of the notice comes a day after he held the consultations to determine the maintainability of the motion.

Seven opposition parties led by the Congress had last week moved a notice before him for impeachment of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) on five grounds of “misbehaviour”.

Naidu said in an order today that he had detailed personal conversation on all the aspects arising from the notice and had considered each of the allegations made in it individually as well as collectively.

“Based on all this, I have come to the conclusion that this motion does not deserve to be admitted…On careful analysis and reflection, I find there is virtually no concrete verifiable imputation.

“We cannot allow any of our pillars of governance to be weakened by any thought, word or action,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha chairman said that after having perused annexures to the motion, detailed consultations and studied opinions of constitutional experts, he was “satisfied that admission of this Notice of Motion is neither desirable nor proper”.

“In passing, I am constrained to observe that in this matter, the well established parliamentary customs and conventions as have been delineated in para 2.2 of the Handbook for Members of Rajya Sabha have been disregarded,” Naidu said.

“I have considered the material contained in the Notice of Motion and reflected upon the inputs received in my interaction with legal luminaries and constitutional experts, I am of the firm opinion that the Notice of Motion does not deserve to be admitted. I refuse to admit the Notice of Motion,” he said.

The sources said that Vice President Naidu met the experts after re-scheduling his travel plans considering the seriousness of the matter.

The Congress is likely to move the Supreme Court against the order of the Rajya Sabha chairman in the matter, party sources said.

This is the first time ever that an impeachment notice has been filed against a sitting CJI.

Naidu spoke to former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash Kashyap, ex-law secretary P K Malhotra and former legislative secretary Sanjay Singh on the issue, officials had said yesterday.

He also held deliberations with senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, they said, adding that Naidu also spoke to former Supreme Court judge B Sudarshan Reddy.

The officials said the vice president also spoke to the attorney general on the issue.

Naidu continued with the deliberations till late last evening and spoke to K Parasaran, who was the attorney general during the Congress governments led by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and was also a member to the Upper House nominated by the party.

Leaders of the opposition parties had on Friday met Naidu and handed over the notice of impeachment against the CJI bearing signatures of 64 MPs and seven former members, who recently retired.

The parties had briefed the media after handing over the notice to the Upper House chairman.

Source: Press Trust of India