Impeachment notice a ‘revenge petition’, says FM Jaitley
New Delhi, Apr 20 : Accusing the Congress of using impeachment as a political tool, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today termed its notice to remove Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra a “revenge petition” after the Supreme Court’s judgement in Judge Loya death case had “exposed” the conspiracy of falsehood.
In a hard-hitting Facebook post titled ‘Judge Loya Death Case – The One That Almost Created a Judicial Mutiny, he also said Amit Shah, now BJP President, had “no role” in the Sohrabuddin case which was an alleged encounter executed by some central agencies through the State Police.
Earlier in the day, Congress and six other opposition parties moved a notice for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India, accusing him of five counts of “misbehaviour” and “misusing” authority.
The opposition parties met Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and handed over a notice for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) with signatures of 64 MPs of the Upper House.
Observing that impeachment of a Judge of the Supreme Court is to be done only in the case of either his “incapacity” or on “proven misconduct”, Jaitley said the Congress party and its friends have started using impeachment as a “political tool”.
Trivialising the use of impeachment power is a dangerous event, he said, adding that it is not difficult to collect 50 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.
“My preliminary reaction to the impeachment motion filed today is clear. It is a revenge petition after the falsehood of the Congress Party has been established in the Justice Loya death case. 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,” he said.
The senior BJP leader said yesterday’s 114 page judgement in the Judge Loya death case “exposes every fact of the conspiracy to generate falsehood” as propaganda in the public and political space.
“Never ever so blatantly in the past have national political parties, a few retired judges and some senior lawyers so closely identified themselves with the generation of falsehood that they almost come out as conspirators.
“A detailed analysis of the facts and the role played by some groups is necessary since I suspect such attempts will also be made in the future,” Jaitley said.
Observing that some public interest crusaders have graduated into “Institution Disruptors”, Jaitley said they pick-up even false causes and pursue the falsehood with a “sense of deep commitment, indulge in intimidating advocacy, are shrill with their opposing colleagues, are rude and impolite with the judges”.
He said they have found two strong allies — a section of the media gives them publicity and the Congress which is too willing to identify with them.
On the other hand, he regretted that a “divided court” is finding itself helpless to respond to these intimidatory tactics.
The judgement indicates that intimidatory tactics were used as an alternative to one sided set of facts in the case, he said.
Referring to the “controversial” press conference by four senior judges of the Supreme Court, Jaitley asked: “Is the impeachment motion filed today a direct result of the press conference? Does this impeachment set a precedent that political parties in India will use impeachment as an instrument to intimidate judges hearing controversial matters?”
Jaitley said that what has happened today is a “price” the Indian judiciary has to pay for misadventures of many.
“There is no better time for judicial statesmanship and political foresight,” he said.
Jaitley also lashed out at the Caravan magazine stories and investigations in connection with death of Justice Loya a “textbook example of fake news”.
“It was not gossip or rumour mongering but a deliberately generated fake news where falsehood was manufactured to generate a massive public controversy,” he said, adding that even family members of Judge Loya had accepted that he died of natural causes.
The finance minister said the Supreme Court too has conclusively established that Judge Loya’s death was because of natural reasons and there was no suspicious circumstance.