Former Law Minister Kapil Sibal said on Thursday that the Congress was still considering the option of moving an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, PTI reported.
The Opposition was considering the impeachment proceedings against Misra after four senior Supreme Court judges, at a press conference on January 11, raised questions about the way he allocates cases. “We are very, very concerned about what is happening in court and we believe that the option that is available to us is still open,” Sibal said on Thursday.
Sibal’s statement comes just days after his party colleague Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress would not move the impeachment motion, and that the matter was “closed now”. “This is not some instant coffee,” Sibal said, when asked why Congress leaders were making different statements about the motion, The Hindu reported. “We are dealing with an institution and I want to make it very clear that it will be a very sad day if the Opposition has to take that step. If the Opposition does do it, it will be with a very heavy heart, but that does not mean the Opposition has foreclosed the option.”
A few weeks ago, reports said the Congress was leading efforts to collect the signatures of Opposition leaders in the Rajya Sabha to support the impeachment proceedings against Misra. An impeachment motion in the Upper House needs the signatures of at least 50 members, and the Congress reportedly collected 60.
On Thursday, the party also asked Misra and the top court’s senior most judges to “resist” attempts allegedly made by the government to “block” recommendations that the collegium made to appoint judges, The Indian Express reported.
“If such steps are not taken, then it would amount to capitulation to the executive,” the party said, a day after Justice Kurian Joseph wrote to CJI Misra urging the Supreme Court to act against the government’s delay in approving two appointments to the top court despite the collegium’s recommendation. The “very life and existence” of the Supreme Court is under threat and “history will not pardon us” if the court does not act, Joseph had said in the letter.