New Delhi: As many as 64 MPs from seven opposition parties led by Congress signed a motion asking for the removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Notably, TMC and DMK MPs steered clear which hinted at a possible rift in efforts to portray a united front by parties in the opposition.
Opposition leaders met Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday morning and submitted the notice asking for the CJI's removal. Led by Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad, the MPs cited 'misbehaviour' as a reason to remove him. "71 MPs had signed the motion (against CJI) but as seven have retired, the number is now 64. We have more than the minimum requirement needed to entertain the motion and we are sure that the Honourable Chairman will take action," said Azad at a press conference afterwards.
Congress' Kapil Sibal too said that several SC judges have brought to light that certain functioning of the apex court is not in order. "CJI is first among equals. Several SC judges though have come on record to say that the house in not in order. We expected changes to take place but nothing has changed so far," he said. "When judges of SC themselves believe independence of the judiciary is under threat and democracy is in peril, should people of the country allow the institution to diminish? Democracy must always come first and all else should follow."
We wish this day had never come in the fabric of our constitutional framework. Since the day he (Dipak Misra) was appointed as CJI there have been questions raised in the manner in which he has dealt with certain cases: Kapil Sibal, Congress on Impeachment Motion against CJI pic.twitter.com/kXx6N38hr2
— ANI (@ANI) April 20, 2018
While the Congress leaders did attempt at presenting a united front in urging for the removal of CJI Misra, the absence of MPs from TMC and DMK led to more questions than answers.