Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday slammed the opposition for moving the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra saying that they were using it as a political tool. In a long Facebook post, Arun Jaitley said that Congress party and its friends have started the practice of using impeachment as a political tool. In his preliminary reaction to the impeachment motion filed today, Finance Minister said, “it is a revenge petition after the falsehood of the Congress Party has been established in the Justice Loya death case.” Arun Jaitley wrote in his Facebook post.
Raising his concern on this big development, the Finance Minister said, “Impeachment is a process by which you remove the holder of office in order to protect the dignity of an office. The power of impeachment under our Constitution is a part of an inter-institutional accountability. Both Houses of Parliament as political houses have been conferred the judicial power of impeachment. Thus a judicial power is exercised by a political house. Each member has to act as a Judge. He has to independently review the facts and the evidence. Decisions cannot be on party lines or dictated by Whip.”
“The power is exercised in case of “proven misconduct”. Trivialising the use of that power is a dangerous event. It is not difficult to collect fifty signatures of Rajya Sabha or hundred signatures of Lok Sabha members even on frivolous issues. To use the power as intimidatory tactics when neither you have a case of “proven misconduct” or the numbers on your side, is a serious threat to judicial independence,” Arun Jaitley mentioned. “It is an attempt to intimidate a Judge and send a message to other Judges, that if you don’t agree with us, fifty MP’s are enough for a revenge action. The charges read out are issues those which have been settled by judicial orders or by precedent. Some issues are stale, trivial and have nothing to do with judicial functions,” the Finance Minister further added.
Meanwhile, after moving the impeachment motion, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal in a press conference on Friday said, “We wish this day had never come in the fabric of our constitutional framework. Since the day he (Dipak Misra) was appointed as CJI there have been questions raised in the manner in which he has dealt with certain cases.” Giving response to a question on why former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not sign the impeachment motion, Kapil Sibal said that he was an ex-Prime Minister, so they didn’t involve him.