The Congress is seriously considering the option of moving impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra after four senior judges of the Supreme Court came out in public against Misra’s functioning.
A senior lawyer, who was consulted by the top leadership of the Congress following the press conference of the judges, confirmed that the party could back the four judges in a press meet later today.
“The Congress is considering the option of impeachment. Kapil Sibal is leading consultations,” the lawyer said, on condition of anonymity.
A senior leader of the Congress confirmed to Scroll.in that it has reached out to other parties to consider impeachment. However, whether it would openly admit to considering impeachment remains to be seen.
“The Supreme Court is in an unprecedented crisis and needs an unprecedented solution,” the leader said, though adding that a final decision would be made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a meeting scheduled for 5.30 pm. Sibal spoke to several lawyers and even met some at his residence immediately after the press conference of the judges in the morning.
Judges, according to the Judges Inquiry Act, could be removed only for two reasons: misconduct and incapacity. The impeachment notice requires the backing of 50 MPs if moved in the Rajya Sabha and 100 in the Lok Sabha. A committee will then be formed, consisting of a Supreme Court judge, a High Court chief justice and an eminent jurist. The final vote will require the approval of two-thirds of members present and voting in both the Houses of the Parliament.
The senior lawyer, who was consulted, said the party is likely to slam the BJP government for the crisis, probably accusing its interference in the judiciary as the reason behind the open revolt.
Congress insiders said the idea was to present a responsible route of action to protect independence of the judiciary.
Further, the senior lawyer said Rahul Gandhi is likely to meet three senior advocates on Saturday in New Delhi. Two of the three are attending matters in other cities and will reach Delhi on Saturday morning.