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SC disturbed at MPs raising CJI impeachment issue in public

April 20, 2018 6:29 pm Category: SLIDER NEWS, TOP STORIES A+ / A-

cji-dipaka mishraNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today said it was “very disturbed” at the course of developments involving
public statements by the Members of Parliament (MPs) on the removal of the Chief Justice of India
(CJI).

The observations were made during the hearing of a petition, a few hours before the Congress and other
opposition parties submitted a notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for initiating
impeachment proceedings against CJI Dipak Misra.

The apex court said it was “very unfortunate” that despite knowing the law that till a certain point,
the issue of impeachment cannot be made public, the politicians were holding public discussions.

After a brief hearing, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan sought the assistance of
Attorney General K K Venugopal to deal with the issue and a plea which has sought laying of guidelines
to regulate the procedure to be followed prior to initiating a motion for removing a judge of the top
court.

“We all are very disturbed about it,” Justice Sikri said while asking the Attorney General to assist in
the matter.

The move came a day after the apex court rejected the pleas of those, including Congress leader Tehseen
Poonawalla, seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI Judge B H Loya, who was hearing
the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which BJP President Amit Shah was discharged
by the court.

During the hearing today, the apex court refused to gag the media at this stage from publishing or
telecasting any information relating to the discussions and deliberations on removal of judges of
either the apex court or the high courts.

Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, representing an NGO, ‘In Pursuit of Justice’, argued that politicians
were making all kinds of public statements about removal of a judge without there being any motion in
this regard before Parliament.

There can be no discussion (about removal of a judge) till a point because that will have a serious
impact on the functioning of the judge concerned,” she said, adding, “we are divided on polarised
lines. Politics is divided on it”.

Apparently convinced with the argument, the bench observed, “this is very unfortunate what is
happening”.

When Arora raised the issue of gagging the media from publishing such public statements, the bench said
, “the law is very clear. Everybody knows the law. Even legislature knows the law. Can we take it
up on the judicial side, that is what we have to see”.

Apparently convinced with the argument, the bench observed, “this is very unfortunate what is
happening”.

When Arora raised the issue of gagging the media from publishing such public statements, the bench
said, “the law is very clear. Everybody knows the law. Even legislature knows the law. Can we take it
up on the judicial side, that is what we have to see”.

The counsel, however, said a judge has to perform his duties “fearlessly” and such public statements
cannot be made by the politicians like this.

The lawyer then requested the bench, “please restrain the media”.

To this, the apex court said it would not do so without hearing the Attorney General and posted the
matter for hearing on May 7.

The plea, filed by the NGO, has sought laying down of guidelines or modalities regulating procedure to
be followed by MPs, desirous of initiating proceedings for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or a
high court, prior to initiating a motion under Article 124(4) and (5) and 217(1)(b) of the
Constitution.

“The Petitioners are also aggrieved by the act of bringing the draft motion in the public domain
including releasing the same in the press and further statements being given by various MPs regarding
their intention of initiating a motion to remove a judge of the Supreme Court even before such a motion
was made in pursuance of the provision of Article 124(4) and (5) of the Constitution,” the plea said.

Article 124(4) and (5) deal with the procedure to be followed for removal of an apex court judge.

The plea also referred to various media reports carrying the statements of MPs and politicians in this
regard and said no law was made by Parliament which permits the circulation of draft notice of motion
to the press.

“A threat to the independence of the judiciary in dispensing justice, without fear or favour, has
violated the fundamental rights of the petitioners…,” it said, adding any such statement should be
first made in the house, while it is in session, before releasing them to the press or bringing it in
public domain.

It said such discussions in public domain amounted to “intimidation of the judiciary” and was a “gross
abuse” of the process of law.

“This scurrilous abuse of a judge and attack on his personal character is punishable contempt,” it
said, adding that these “illegal acts” of parliamentarians have the effect of “scandalising” the court.

It claimed that as per media reports, the acts of certain lawmakers have “demeaned, damaged and placed
at risk independence of judiciary”.

“The nation’s interest requires that criticism of the judiciary must be measured, strictly rational,
sober and proceed from the highest motives without being coloured by partisan spirit or pressure
tactics or intimidatory attitude,” it said.

The plea also said that the freedom of speech and expression does not postulate bringing down the image
and intimidating the judiciary and setting a “dangerous trend.”

SC disturbed at MPs raising CJI impeachment issue in public Reviewed by on . NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today said it was "very disturbed" at the course of developments involving public statements by the Members of Parliament (MPs) on NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today said it was "very disturbed" at the course of developments involving public statements by the Members of Parliament (MPs) on Rating: 0
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