New Delhi: The unprecedented move to impeach Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra is "ill conceived" and the opposition is doing "great harm" to the institution of independent judiciary and its public perception, Soli Sorabjee, the former Attorney General of India, said today. The notice to begin an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India -- a first in the nation's history -- was signed by 71 lawmakers belonging to seven parties.
"What is the gross misbehaviour, the ground for impeachment? That a judgment was not in favour... People should learn to understand an unfavourable order, to accept defeat... SC has given good reasons. If you don't accept, where is the finality?" Mr Sorabjee said.
The opposition move was widely seen a as a reaction to the top court judgment on the BH Loya case since it came a day after the verdict. But the Congress claimed that the move had nothing to do with the case. It was prepped a week ago, signed by 71 lawmakers, 7 of whom has since retired. The letter, they said, could not be presented to Mr Naidu, since he was in the northeast.
The Congress, which addressed the press soon after their meeting with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, acknowledged that it was a difficult decision. "We wish this day had never come," said senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Alluding to an unprecedented press conference of four Supreme Court judges in January which set in motion the events, the Congress said when the judges spoke of the judiciary's independence being under threat and "democracy in peril" and linked it to the office of the Chief Justice of India, "should the nation stand still and do nothing". Their move, the party indicated, was meant to protect the judiciary "both from within and without".
"The choice was not easy because either way, the repercussions are serious," the party said.