Congress as a party has an unparalleled stature and influence on the nation’s politics. It has the largest presence and influence in the every nook and corner of the country. This influence and presence has receded to unprecedented level; that is a fact. However, the fact remains that it has a potential to spring back to an honorable position, an appreciable position - even if does not match its glorious days.
On this backdrop, its humiliating theatrics become all the more pitiable. It points to its defeatist mentality showing that it has lost willingness to fight its political battles in the political or electoral arenas and instead choosing to take shortcuts of maligning constitutional institutions. The slugfest that it has indulged itself against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra is a grim example of how low it has fallen.
Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu today rejected the notice given by opposition parties for impeachment of CJI Mishra citing lack of substantial. Seven opposition parties led had last week moved a notice before him for impeachment of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) on five grounds of "misbehaviour". And Congress is leading this pack of the opposition parties. The impeachment notice came a day after the Supreme Court rejected a bunch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge B. H. Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
You know you don't have any ground, you know you can't impeach him. In spite of knowing all that still you go on & plunge in this ill-advised move. This can't be considered as a wise act: Justice (Retd) RS Sodhi on rejection of Impeachment Notice against CJI by VP Venkaiah Naidu. pic.twitter.com/WSoClgg65K
— ANI (@ANI) April 23, 2018
Naidu held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts before taking the decision. The rejection of the notice comes a day after he held the consultations with experts to determine the maintainability of the motion. The opposition had submitted signatures of 71 lawmakers from seven parties on Friday. However, seven MPs of these signatories were found to be already retired. “The opposition notice had signatures of 71 lawmakers from seven parties. Seven of the lawmakers have retired since, but the number of signatures was well above the mandatory 50,” the Congress said in a press conference.
Naidu spoke to former Lok Sabha Secretary General, Subhash Kashyap, former Law Secretary PK Malhotra, former Legislative Secretary Sanjay Singh and senior officials of Rajya Sabha Secretariat over the issue.
"This act of members (opposition) of discussing the conduct of the CJI in the press is against propriety and parliamentary decorum as it denigrates the institution of CJI," Naidu said in a statement . According to the constitution, Chief Justice Of India can be impeached only on grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity. The opposition has backed its demand on five grounds, which, the Congress said, equals misbehavior.
All legal Experts have slammed the move. Former SC judge Sudarshan Reddy has termed this as a suicide move while former Solicitor General Soli Sorabjee has called it an unfortunate move. So the question is why Congress was Adamant on making this self goal?
The matter will not end here. With its eyes fixed on general elections in 2019 and an apparent atmosphere of discontent against BJP, Congress wants to harvest maximum yield from this entire episode and it is cultivating discontent and disbelief for the same reason. This is the first time ever that an impeachment notice has been filed against a sitting CJI. Therefore, it must understand the grave implications of its moves. That it did not shows its desperation.
The time has come for Congress to come to terms with defeat and prepare itself to fight with a determined spirit. It ran a brilliant campaign during Gujarat elections that gave it some mileage and breathers, but thereafter it is yet again on the Rahul Gandhian path, making one after another blunders. One doesn’t know but perhaps this has something to do with busting of Cambridge Analytica scandal. Whatever it may be, it has to learn the tricks of the rope that originally had brought to the board during its long regime. But for that, it has to go for a change in leadership, shedding the yoke of dynasty and that an anathema for it.
So all in all, the only remedy for it right now is to accept defeat.