NEW DELHI: India’s vice president on Monday rejected a move by a group of opposition parties to impeach the country’s top judge on grounds of misusing his office and bowing to government pressure.
In a 10-page order, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, acting in his capacity as the head of India’s upper house of Parliament, said that it was “neither legal nor desirable or proper” to admit the motion to impeach Chief Justice Deepak Misra.
Naidu, who is also a senior member of the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, said that he studied the matter deeply and sought advice from legal scholars and constitutional experts before reaching his decision.
Leaders of the Congress party and six other parties had presented a notice in the upper house on Friday seeking an inquiry into Misra’s conduct, to be followed by an impeachment vote.
Troubles for Misra, who is due to retire in October at age 65, started in January when four other Supreme Court judges launched a rare public revolt, criticizing his distribution of cases and judicial appointments.
The four judges said that they met with Misra and demanded changes, but that he refused.
The opposition parties allege that some of Misra’s rulings have supported the government’s stand.
One example they gave was his verdict against an opposition demand for an impartial investigation into the death of a judge who was hearing a case involving the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Amit Shah.
They also accused Misra of providing false information when he bought land before becoming chief justice.—AP