Sixth senior judge to hear appeal on CJI notice

Sixth senior judge to hear appeal on CJI notice

After the rejection of the motion for removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu, leaders of opposition parties have moved the Supreme Court against the decision. Faced with Justice Chelameswar's initial reluctance, Sibal said, "I am aware that the CJI is the master of roster and that petitions need to be mentioned before him for urgent listing".

The petition says: "None of the reasons given by the Chairman (Venkaiah Naidu)... carry any weight or are legally tenable. It deserves to be set aside for being wholly extraneous and ultra vires to the Constitution and the Inquiry Act", said the petitioners.

"In the absence of a full-fledged inquiry, it is not possible to return any findings on the same".

Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu had consulted top legal and constitutional experts in taking a decision on the impeachment notice.

The party had moved the apex court on Tuesday, days after Naidu dismissed their motion seeking the removal of CJI Dipak Misra. He states that there was no substantial merit in it. The CJI will not be a part of the bench, CNN-News 18 reported.

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The bench headed by Justice Sikri, which will hear the petition, includes none of the senior judges - Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - who held an unprecedented press conference on January 12 to accuse the CJI of arbitrarily allocating important cases to "select benches headed by junior judges".

Moreover, he could not approach the CJI complaining about Registry's action as he is disabled to hear a case against him. Justice Chelameswar also said he was on the verge of retirement. Sibal had said that this writ could not be mentioned anywhere else.

He also said that the Parliament was supreme in its own jurisdiction and its process can not be subjected to judicial review and "impeachment" motion was filed on untenable grounds for a collateral objective to intimidate the CJI and other judges.

"You come back to us tomorrow at 10.30am", Justice Chelameswar told Sibal.

"The impugned order proceeds on an erroneous assumption in law that the chairman/speaker, exercises quasi-judicial powers to determine whether to admit or not to admit a notice of motion and whether to constitute the aforesaid committee", stated the plea. He said the CJI can not order for listing and hence the senior-most judge of the court must pass some orders as it was a matter of constitutional importance. But this petition is against the CJI, who can not decide its listing.

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