The opposition camp appeared to move decisively towards moving an impeachment motion against chief justice of India Dipak Misra, with leaders holding consultations on Tuesday to discuss details of the petition and to make a determined bid to bring a large section of the political class on board, reports Times of India.
While consultations are set to move into the final stages in the next few days, the pro-impeachment camp got a shot in the arm when TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said she was ready to join an opposition consensus on the issue. Her first reaction on the subject
– initially made public by arch-rival and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury in January, came after activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan met her with the proposal on Tuesday.
Banerjee told reporters, ‘I can only say that Trinamool Congress will go with whatever decision the other parties take on the impeachment of the chief justice. After all, one cannot ignore what the four judges had to say.’
Opposition sources said that top leaders held a meeting to hammer out a final stand on the proposal. A draft petition, based on the complaint levelled by four most senior SC judges at a press conference on January 12, is learnt to have been shown to different party leaders for their suggestions and approval.
Legal eagles across parties are learned to be playing a key role in the exercise amid indications that signatures of members of the Rajya Sabha are being collected so that the notice for the motion can be submitted. For a removal motion being initiated in the Rajya Sabha, it needs to be backed by 50 members, half the required number laid down for the one to be launched from the Lok Sabha.
However, the Lok Sabha speaker and the chairman of the Rajya Sabha may not admit a motion.
Besides TMC, the Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar, too, is learned to be playing a role in the mobilisation. NCP leader DP Tripathi told reporters on Tuesday that some opposition parties have started putting signatures on a draft proposal for moving an impeachment motion against chief justice Misra.
In their press conference, Justices JS Chelameswar , Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph had alleged that the Chief Justice was abusing his position as ‘master of roster’ not to assign important cases to them. They said that important matters were being assigned to a bench of preference comprising junior judges.
Most of the parties feel that the chief justice has not as yet addressed the issues first raised by four judges at a sensational press conference called at the house of Justice Chelameswar on January 12.
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