oppn parties SC Follows Propriety In CJI Impeachment Petition

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
SC Follows Propriety In CJI Impeachment Petition

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Although lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal tried to trick the SC into accepting and hearing the petition challenging the dismissal of the notice of impeachment against the CJI out of the way by bringing it up before the second-most senior judge, Justice J Chelameswar, the judge was not to be led away from propriety. He asked the lawyer to come back the next day. Meanwhile, the apex court has constituted a five-member bench to be headed by Justice A K Sikri and comprising of Justices S A Bodbe, N A Ramana, Arun Mishra and A K Goel to hear the petition.

This is as per the tenets of natural justice which ask for prevention of conflict of interest. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, despite being the Master of the Roster due to his rank, could not have heard the petition as it was against him. The other four senior-most judges also ruled themselves out of contention to sit on the said bench as they were the ones who held an unprecedented press conference to complain against the CJI and his alleged bias in allotting cases, which formed the basis of the impeachment notice served by the opposition parties.

With five senior-most judges having been disqualified thus, it now falls on Justice Sikri and his colleagues to hear one of the most important, politically-charged and controversial cases to have reached the apex court in recent times. With the opposition pressing the urgent hearing button, it seems the court will have to hear the arguments daily and decide fast. It is also certain that if the court decides that VP Naidu was wrong in dismissing the notice it will displease the government and the opposition will be aggrieved if the decision is otherwise. But the court will have to consider if irrefutable proof of gross misconduct or improper behavior exists in the charges made against the CJI or if the impeachment notice is based on hearsay and conjectures. The five-member bench has a huge and demanding task on its hand.

The lawyer for the opposition tried to play mischief by bringing up the petition before Justice Chelameswar. It was against propriety to bring it up before the judge, even though he was the second-most senior judge, for he was one of the judges who had made charges against the CJI. There was plain conflict of interest. The opposition was trying to divide the judiciary and deal a body blow to it. It is good that Justice Chelameswar saw through the trick and refused to be a party to the political machinations.