The Congress seems to be facing flak from all quarters for trying to pass a politically-motivated impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. The petition has been dismissed by Vice-President of India, Venkaiah Naidu on technical and legal grounds. The Congress, which was desperate to at the least initiate the cumbersome process in order to project itself as the beacon of democracy, has only harmed itself by making this poor move. They are no more recognised as a democratic power but a power-hungry party which can go to any extent in order to grab attention. This move has been criticised at all levels for attempting to cut the judiciary to size and unnecessarily involving such a significant office in political mud-slinging.
This time around, two of India’s most popular jurists, Ram Jethmalani and Harish Salve, have come out all guns blazing against the objectionable petition drafted by seven political parties and led by the Congress.
While speaking exclusively to Arnab Goswami at Republic TV, India’s renowned jurist, two time union minister for law and justice, sitting Rajya Sabha MP and undoubtedly the most popular advocate across India, Ram Jethmalani threw all his weight behind the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. He has also gone hammer and tongs after the Congress for unnecessarily meddling with the judiciary. Ram Jethmalani wondered what wrong the Chief Justice of India had committed that an impeachment motion has been brought against him. According to him, the alleged incidents that were made a matter of contention took place way before the sitting Chief Justice of India even became a judge. Ram Jethmalani seemed to have been pained by the time that must have been wasted to investigate matters that transpired before the sitting Chief Justice Dipak Misra even assumed office. He made it clear that the allegations advanced by the opposition were baseless and mere political gimmick.
Ram Jethmalani even laughed off Rahul Gandhi’s ’#SaveTheConstitution rally’ and the allegations by the Congress president that the Supreme Court is being trampled. Ram Jethmalani remarked, “He’s (Rahul Gandhi) too small a person to comment on these big events in our history and you should ignore anything he says. He’s just not qualified to make any of these comments.” This suggests that the nonagenarian has seen through the façade of judicial independence propounded by the Congress. Jethmalani has seen through the fact that the frivolous motion has been presented purely for political reasons. While going into the details of its rejection, the eminent jurist explained that since the MPs presenting the outrageous petition were unsure about their own case, the entire motion was based on mere suspicion or assumption. The same does not amount to ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’. Therefore, the motion was rejected on the face of it due to such a glaring error.
Another eminent jurist, Harish Salve, has also ripped the Congress apart for the way it has politicised the office of the Chief justice of India. When the impeachment motion came into force on 21st April, the former Solicitor General of India, Harish Salve drew analogy with the supersession of three senior Supreme Court judges by the then Indira Gandhi government as they did not pronounce favourable verdicts in the landmark Kesavananda Bharti case. The Congress’ approach towards the judges was high-handed to such an extent in those days that it did not even hide its malicious motive of downsizing the judiciary. While treating the Supreme Court judges as ordinary government employees, the government had opined that some judges are not “in-sync with the thought process of the government.
Harish Salve had come up with an even sharper attack on Monday after Rahul Gandhi’s close aide and social media in-charge of the Congress, Divya Spandaba shamefully levelled baseless allegations of ‘bench-fixing’ against the Chief Justice of India. Harish Salve seems to have been infuriated by this shameful and political remark against the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. In fact, she tweeted a list of cases which according to her involved bench-fixing. It is unsurprising that she failed to provide even an iota of evidence suggesting any bench-fixing by the Chief Justice of India. This irresponsible statement evoked a strong reaction from Harish Salve who called for invoking contempt of court in such extreme cases and taking those involved in such crimes to the task.
The fact that two of India’s most popular jurists and legal experts had to give sharp and critical reactions to the impeachment proceedings show what kind of damage the Congress intends to inflict on the institution. The theory of misconduct is a façade and the real object is to avenge the unfavourable verdicts rendered by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. However, the leading jurists have exposed the nefarious designs of the Congress party. No matter how hard the Congress tries, it will not be able to change the poor perception it has created for itself after this fiasco.