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'Unfortunate and Disturbing': SC on Public Debates Over CJI Impeachments

The PIL, filed by NGO In Pursuit of Justice, has sought a restraint against the legislators as well as media to discuss a proposed removal motion.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:April 20, 2018, 12:24 PM IST
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'Unfortunate and Disturbing': SC on Public Debates Over CJI Impeachments
File Photo of the Supreme Court of India.
New Delhi: Terming it as "unfortunate', the Supreme Court on Friday said it is "very disturbed" about the recent events surrounding the discussion in public of proposed impeachment of the incumbent Chief Justice of India.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan rued the manner in which prolonged debates were happening over the proposed removal motion, as is being contemplated to be brought by certain Congress MPs.

"We are very disturbed about what has been happening...it is very unfortunate what is happening," observed the bench as it sought the assistance of Attorney General KK Venugopal in the matter.

The PIL, filed by NGO In Pursuit of Justice, has sought a restraint against the legislators as well as media to discuss a proposed removal motion.

Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the NGO, submitted that a judge cannot act fearlessly if such discourse takes place while he is in office and the removal motion has not even been brought.

"Under Article 121, even parliamentarians are restricted to discuss the conduct of a judge up to a certain stage. How can these legislators, as private citizens, talk about the same issue as and when they want? This will impact independence of the judiciary," argued Arora.

The bench retorted that she was right in her submissions but the Court will need to examine if a restraint can be issued through a valid judicial order.

"Law is very clear and everyone is supposed to know the law. Even the legislature should know the law. It is still happening. The question is what can we do now?" remarked the bench.

The Court then deemed it proper to seek the assistance of the top law officer on May 7.

There has been a persistent talk about the proposed removal motion of the CJI. Congress MPs have reportedly taken the lead in this and a signature campaign was also started. Not just this, a draft impeachment motion was also circulated.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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