Two RS members move Supreme Court against rejection of notice

NEW DELHI: Two Rajya Sabha members on Monday moved the Supreme Court to challenge house Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject a notice on the impeachment motion against the apex court’s Chief Justice, Dipak Misra.
A bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar on Monday told senior counsel Kapil Sibal to “come back tomorrow” as the latter mentioned the matter for listing for an early hearing.
Congress Rajya Sabha members Pratap Singh Bajwa and Amee Yajnik challenged the rejection of the notice last month. Both were among the signatories to the notice.
Sibal told the court that since the matter involved the Chief Justice of India, it could not be mentioned before him.
He also told the bench that the notice’s rejection raised “serious constitutional issues” and involved interpretation of constitutional provisions.
The petitioners contended that the April 23 decision of Naidu to reject the impeachment motion notice is “ex facie illegal, arbitrary, and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution” that guarantees equality before law.
They further contended that the decision under challenge is in the teeth of the constitutional mandate of Articles 124 (4) and 124(5) of the Constitution.
“It is not the Rajya Sabha Chairman’s prerogative to adjudicate whether there has been any abuse by the CJI of his power as the Master of the Roster (in the Supreme Court). This is the job of the Inquiry Committee,” the petitioners contended.
The two lawmakers sought directions to the Rajya Sabha Chairman to admit the notice for impeachment motion and constitute a committee to investigate the grounds mentioned therein.
They also sought that Section 3(1) of the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968, insofar it allows the Rajya Sabha Chairman and Lok Sabha Speaker to exercise discretion in accepting or rejecting a notice of motion for the removal of Judge (s) as ultra vires of the Constitution, particularly Article 124 (4) and (5).
Section 3 of the Judges Inquiry Act provides for the “investigation into misbehaviour or incapacity of the Judge by the committee”.
Sub-Section 1 of Section 3 of the Judges Inquiry Act says: “The Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman may, after consulting such persons, if any, as he thinks fit and after considering such materials, if any, as may be available to him, either admit the motion or refuse to admit the same.
Naidu had taken recourse to this provision on April 23 to reject the notice on motion to seek the removal of Chief Justice Dipak Misra. — IANS