- Top court called the public discussions on impeachment "unfortunate"
- Sought Attorney General's views after petition asks for gag on media
- Said was "very disturbed" about politicians' statements against judiciary
The observation came in response to a petition -- filed by a Pune-based lawyers' organization -- that sought a gag on the media, citing a report by the Law Commission. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhusan, however, turned down the petitioners' request to place an interim ban on the media, saying it would wait for the Attorney General KK Venugopal's response. The case will be heard next on May 7.
The opposition has been trying to form a broad consensus on the impeachment since the CPM suggested the idea in January. Its notice today to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, was signed by more than 60 members from across seven political parties.
The focus on the role of the Chief Justice came after four of the Supreme Court's most senior judges went public with the allegation that the Chief Justice was abusing his position as "master of the roster" and sensitive cases were being allocated to junior judges.
Last week, the top court called petitions that sought transparency in rostering "scandalous". "The Chief Justice of India is the highest authority and he can't be distrusted," said a three-judge bench that was led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
The Congress signalled its disappointment with the order, calling it a "sad letter day in India's history" and claiming "there are still questions before those who believe in the judiciary".
When he died in 2014, judge Loya was handling a murder case in which BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused. Some members of his family questioned the death, alleging that he was offered a huge bribe and was under immense mental pressure. The bench led by Chief Justice Misra yesterday questioned the motive of the petitioners, saying political rivalries should be settled in a democratic manner, not in courts.
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