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‘Chairman’s decision on impeachment illegal, Supreme Court will be moved’

 New Delhi, April 23: Attacking the rejection of the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dipak Misra as “illegal, wrong and unconstitutional”, Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Monday said the opposition members who had signed the motion will move the Supreme Court challenging the decision of Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu. After Naidu came out with a 10-page order rejecting the notice of motion signed by 64 MPs, he said it was unprecedented that the motion has been rejected even before it was admitted. Sibal also hoped that the Chief Justice would keep out of hearing the challenge petition. “We will certainly move the petition in the Supreme Court to challenge this order. We are confident that when we move the Supreme Court, he has nothing to do with it so that it is heard and the serious issues which are constitutional in nature in which we determine whether we will bring transparency to the process of law will be decided by the court.”

The former Union Law Minister, one of the signatories to the motion, accused the Chairman of being in “tearing hurry” in deciding on the issue. “Obviously there was some tearing hurry. I don’t think momentous matters like this should be disposed of in this fashion. Remember as MPs it is our privilege to move the motion. You can’t boot the privilege motion in this fashion.”
Sibal said it was four judges of the Supreme Court who had raised matters of concern about the functioning of the Chief Justice and the Chairman should have consulted the judges of the collegium before taking a decision. “Without consulting the judges about the state of matters about what happened in the court, it was ill-advised of him to have rejected the motion.” He also referred to a paragraph in the order in which the Chairman had said that if every statement made in the petition was believed to be true, would it still amount to a case of proved misbehaviour and said how it could be proved without an inquiry. 
Sibal referred to Naidu citing a Supreme Court ruling in which it says the Chair need not weigh the pros and cons of finding a prima facie case and said the Chairman had not followed it. On Naidu’s contention that the charges lacked credible and verifiable information, Sibal said how could the Chairman come to such a conclusion without an inquiry. “How do you verify something without an inquiry.” (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita