India's vice president rejects Opp bid to impeach top judge

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April. 24 (ANI): A day after Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu rejected the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Tuesday lashed out at the Congress stating that they have no right to question Constitution and democracy. Pinning the blame on lawyer-turned-politicians, he noted that "the incidental impact of this has been a growing tendency of lawyer members to drag intra-court disputes into the Parliamentary process". Hearsay and rumours are not a substitute for evidence.

To a question about the Congress's assertion it would challenge the decision in court, she said it was free to do so but highlighted the reported differences in the party over the move to impeach the CJI and said it had legal experts who knew law more than Kapil Sibal and had reservations about the exercise.

"Any inquiry set up subsequent to a possible admission of a motion can not be a fishing and roving inquiry".

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Rajya Sabha Chairman can not insist on proof "beyond reasonable doubt" at this stage of the motion, according to constitutional provisions or the law.

"It is illegal because the Chairman has passed an order which is required to be passed after a full-fledged enquiry", said Sibal, adding that the Rajya Sabha Chairman had to only ascertain whether the motion was in order. The party had on Sunday said Dipak Misra should consider recusing himself from judicial and administrative work till he was cleared of the charge of "misbehaviour". Some Members of the House had a point of view and the right to express it while I had a responsibility cast on me. "The inquiry dos not have to search for better evidence or a better set of facts", he added. Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has rightly rejected the notice as it contained no concrete evidence of wrongdoing but essentially relied on surmises. A motion under Article 124 (4) is no different from any other motion where Chair has the discretion to admit it or decline to do so. Its process can not be subjected to judicial review. Naidu's order, which came within two days of the notice being submitted to him, was slammed as "hasty, illegal and illinformed" by the Congress. "That motion has to be dealt with by the chairman not in his judicial or quasi-judicial capacity; he has to see whether the motion is in order or not have 50 members signed it or not, are their signatures genuine or not genuine".

On the subject of judges' rosters, the order says it is an internal matter that needs to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

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