On 20th April Congress along with other supporting parties met the Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and handed over an impeachment notice which seeks sacking of the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. It was the first time in the history of India that a Chief Justice of India is sought to be impeached.
Just a day before i.e. on 19th April the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Chandrachud, Justice Khanwilkar and Chief Justice Dipak Misra delivered a rare and historic judgement in the matter of conducting further probe in the circumstances of the unfortunate death of Judge Loya based on some PILs filed. The key highlights of the verdict are:
- Petitions seeking any further inquiry were quashed based on the merits of the case.
- The bench held that the statements of the judges present with Judge Loya who confirmed the death to be natural and unfortunate cannot be doubted.
- It also pulled up the petitioners, the liberal cabal and Congress party suggesting that political battles need to be fought in the hall of democracy and not in courts.
It is clearly evident to the courts and public alike that the sole intention of these PILs was to attack Amit Shah because they are unable to contain him and the BJP electorally. The Supreme Court verdict in Justice Loya case has come as a scathing blow on parties trying to settle political scores and liberal cabal as they went from pillar to post to gain mileage out of this issue. The intolerance over this verdict has resulted in Congress seeking impeachment of the Chief Justice of India who is also presiding over matters which may cause more heart burn to this lobby.
However, this unprecedented step by Congress the GOP (Grand Old Party) to cast aspersions, try to subvert or pressurize judiciary does not come as a surprise to many because they indeed have a rich legacy of being undemocratic, unconstitutional and at times extrajudicial.
Almost 4 decades ago, on 12th June 1975, the Allahabad High Court declared in a judgement that the then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi of the ruling Congress party was guilty of malpractices and misuse of government machinery to get elected from Raibareilly. Her election was declared illegal and she was banned from contesting any election for the next 6 years. As a counter, On 25th June 1975, 2 weeks from the date of the verdict Emergency was imposed in the country. The fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of India to its citizens were suspended and what followed was the darkest period in the Indian history since independence.
It was also during the Emergency that the wholesale changes to Indian Constitution took place through the 42nd Amendment including changes to the preamble (socialist and secular got inserted). The key intention of this amendment was to curtail the powers of courts and give unrestrained power to the Parliament to amend any part of the constitution.
Even before Emergency, in the year 1971 Indira Gandhi led Congress Government through 24th amendment had tried to subvert the Supreme Court of India which in 1968 in its judgement had ruled that the fundamental rights of citizens cannot be altered by Parliament and will need the Constituent Assembly that drafted and approved the constitution to be re-convened to do so.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court in 1973 again ruled against the amendment and established the sanctity of the fundamental rights. Congress was again upset with the judgement and for the first time in the history ignored the seniority of 3 Supreme Court Judges and Judge Ray was made the next Chief Justice.
But subversion of democracy, constitution and judiciary did not start with Emergency. It was always in the Congress ecosystem and ways of working. In the year 1946 Congress Party held elections to elect its President. Three members stood for Presidency-Sardar Patel, Nehru and Kriplani. Sardar Patel was selected by 12 Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) and 2 PCCs voted for Kriplani but Congress Party did not respect the mandate by PCC and Nehru was made the President by asking first Kriplani and then Patel to stand down.
In 1939, Subhash Chandra Bose was one of the most popular Presidents elected by the AICC (All India Congress Committee) delegates had to resign as he was unable to run the affairs and had to eventually part ways with the Congress Party.
In 1998 Congress veteran leader Sitaram Kesari was unceremoniously removed from the post of Congress President to pave the way for Sonia Gandhi to become the next President. Many journals and leaders claim that he was infact locked up in a bathroom in order to prevent him from for contesting and getting re-elected for Congress President post.
Coming back to recent times, In the beginning of this year Congress opposed the Triple Talaq bill and it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha which was drafted to provide justice to Muslim sisters. However, this matter also has a history. Congress party subverted justice to Muslim women which was offered by Supreme Court in the year 1985. Shah Bano a Muslim woman, a mother of five children was divorced by her husband against which she filed a case in Supreme Court. The highest court decided in her favour and she got the right to alimony from divorced husband. However, Congress party at the helm of majority in Loksabha under Rajiv Gandhi passed an act in the Parliament restricting the divorcee women’s right to alimony only for a period of 90 days from the date of divorce.
If we analyze the conduct of Congress Party over the years we realize that to there is no other party as undemocratic, unconstitutional, extrajudicial and to put in their own words as intolerant as the Congress. And this fact has been again proved by their decision to bring Impeachment motion against the standing Chief Justice of India. Surprisingly, Kapil Sibal who is leading the charge on Impeachment motion, himself was advocating when in power that Removal of Chief Justice should not be put in hands of politicians.
With all this legacy Congress leaders, Communists and liberals still run campaigns that there is growing intolerance, Constitution and Democracy are in danger due to the functioning of the BJP government led by Narendra Modi.
Finally on 23 April, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha rejected the notice to impeach the Chief Justice but I do believe people at large understand the manifestations of this lobby and will teach them some lessons that only a vibrant democracy can teach.