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Congress’s impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra misconceived, says Arun Jaitley

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Updated: 04:56 GMT, May 10, 2018 | Published: 05:27 GMT, May 9, 2018 |
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Arun Jaitley at India Today conclave in ND

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday criticised the Congress over its “latest misadventure against the judiciary” and said “fishing in troubled waters” would hurt the Opposition in the May 12 Karnataka elections.

In a series of tweets, he said the Congress’s “latest misadventure against the judiciary has been the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India,” which, he said, was “wholly misconceived. It is poorly drafted and lacked in substance.”

“Finding a divided court, the Congress wanted to fish in troubled waters. If the motion for impeachment (of the Chief Justice of India) was unsustainable, the writ petition challenging the order of the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, was unarguable,” Jaitley said in a post on Facebook.

He said the rulings of the Chair, on whether to admit a motion or otherwise, is not subject to judicial review. But the Congress conceived of a strategy to “choose a court of its choice” for constitution of the bench to hear the matter so that “an unarguable matter could be arguable before a more receptive court,” he said.

The party was “looking for a friendly pitch to bowl on,” he added.

Jaitley’s reactions came after two Congress MPs —Partap Singh Bajwa from Punjab and Amee Harshadray Yajnik from Gujarat — withdrew their plea in the Supreme Court challenging rejection of the impeachment notice against CJI Dipak Misra, by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.

The Finance Minister asked if it was right for a national party to deviate from the mainstream and take such “fringe position” and said this would hurt the Congress in Karnataka elections.

“This in reality is the price which each Congressman will pay because its leader has decided that fringe position are better than the mainstream one. The Congressmen in Karnataka will be the immediate victim,” he said.

Earlier, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli accused the Congress of “forum shopping” and “politicising the judiciary.”

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