‘Political tool’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Apr 2018 09:44:58

THE move of 64 Members of Parliament (MPs) from seven Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha to seek impeachment of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Mr. Justice Dipak Misra is nothing but unmitigated politics, which is why Union Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has called it a “political tool”. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that the effort is only to embarrass the Government in this or that manner. This move proves right the anguished observation of the honourable Supreme Court that some elements were out to scandalise the judiciary. That observation had come during the hearing of the Public interest Litigations (PILs) seeking a probe into Special CBI Judge B.H. Loya’s death case. The move to seek impeachment of the Chief Justice of India, obviously, an extension of a continued effort by those elements.

Only time will tell what happens to the move and how far it will travel in the maze of parliamentary procedures. The seven parties have listed various reasons, as mentioned in the procedures, while seeking the CJI’s impeachment. Much will depend upon how the Government responds to the effort and how it counters the obviously politically motivated move.

This situation is unfortunate. A few months ago, four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court had addressed a press conference voicing their dissent and targeting the Chief Justice of India Mr. Dipak Misra for alleged favouritism in allocation of cases to judges. Subsequently, one of the four judges, Mr. Justice Chelameshwar, continued his diatribes against the Chief Justice and even refused to hear a case expressing fears that the CJI would later reverse the judgement. In his public addresses, Mr. Justice Chelameshwar has continued to speak against the Chief Justice and even went to the extent of threatening the Government with dire consequences if it does not promote certain judge as Chief Justice eventually. All these methods are highly objectionable and are good enough to attract stern action against the perpetrators. It is more than clear that the move of the four judges was also politically motivated, as was proved subsequently.

The move of the seven parties in Rajya Sabha to seek impeachment of the Chief Justice of India also has similar dimensions. The entire effort -- of the four judges of the Supreme Court, and now the seven political parties in Rajya sabha -- can be seen easily as politically motivated. For, whatever has come out in public domain makes it clear that all the ruckus is being raised without many actual reasons. Now also, the effort is to embarrass the Government and paint it as an entity that has an unholy alliance with the judiciary. The purpose of the PILs in the Judge Loya’s death case also was to cause of negative disruption aimed at maligning the Government as well as the judiciary.

It is almost a foregone conclusion that the impeachment move will fail. Yet, the Opposition parties will continue to kick up a lot of dust in an effort to malign the image of the Government in this pre-election year. Given the cumulative details of all the moves the Opposition is making for the past some time, the common people may feel shocked that it could stoop to such low levels. But then, all the moves also demonstrated the extreme sense of frustration the Opposition is experiencing because of the good performance of the Narendra Modi Government since it came to power four years ago.