Congress in two minds about joining impeachment move against CJI

The Congress is undecided whether or not to support the CPI(M)'s move to bring an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

The Left is planning to censure the CJI after four Supreme Court judges questioned the functioning of the apex court and claimed that the democracy was in danger.

Though Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had publicly supported the issues raised by the four judges, the party has so far stayed away from demanding the removal of the CJI.

As the issue heats up with the Budget session of parliament starting 29 January, the Congress has deflected the idea saying it needs wider consultation with other Opposition parties.

''There are very important issues that have been raised by the Communist Party. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge would talk to everybody and make their positions clear,'' said Congress spokesperson R P N Singh.

The Congress leader further said that his party continued to believe that the judiciary should not be politicised.

''We continue again to say that we will never politicise the judiciary of this country. They are a very important pillar of democracy and we have not politicised it nor raised any issue,'' said Singh.

While Congress leaders said they haven't yet decided on the proposal made public by Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and the Nationalist Congress Party's Tariq Anwar on Tuesday, they felt the matter cannot be brushed aside.

While the proposal is expected to gain momentum in the coming days, a formal decision on Congress's course of action would be taken at a meeting of party managers that has been called for the weekend ahead of the Budget session.

In a media interaction after the four SC judges held an unprecedented press conference against the CJI, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said there should a full and fair probe into the death of judge B H Loya, who was hearing the politically charged Sohrabuddin "fake encounter" case. The senior judges had confirmed the allocation of the petition calling for a probe into allegedly mysterious circumstances surrounding judge Loya's death was a point of contention with the CJI.

Party insiders said they were miffed that the CJI had earlier given Judge Loya case to a junior judge, bypassing the established procedures in allocation of cases. The fact that the CJI has now decided to hear the sensitive case showed that the Congress position was realistic, they said.