Opposition Move To Impeach CJI Is A Horribly Black Day In History Of SC: Fali Nariman

| April 22 , 2018 , 10:20 IST

Senior advocate of the Supreme Court and Padma Vibhushan awardee Fali Nariman on Sunday slammed the recent move by Opposition parties to impeach Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, calling it “a horribly black day in the history of the Supreme Court”.

Nariman said that the impeachment motion will not only diminish the public's faith in the judiciary but will also open the door for the ruling party to move against a judge if it doesn't like a particular judgment.

“This is a horribly black day… The blackest possible day. I’ve never seen a day like this. In my 67 years, I’ve never seen a day like this,” Nariman said in the exclusive interview to The Sunday Express.

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“Suppose I am a judge and I have a cast iron case against the government. But I will be very fearful to decide against the government in a politically charged case. If members of the ruling party don’t like a particular judgment," he said.

"Suppose the Ayodhya case (the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land title) goes against them and the SC says this land belongs to Muslims and not Hindus. Suppose this happens. I am not saying it will, but suppose. are they going to impeach the judges?” Nariman said.

The senior jurist also pointed out that the charges levelled by the Congress-led Opposition were not in line with the allegations made by 4 senior judges of the SC, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan Lokur, during their press conference on January 12.

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“One of the (Opposition’s) charges is forgery. But… the four judges didn’t subscribe to this charge. You have to be conscious that this is a serious charge against the Chief Justice of India. This is a very serious move, you have to have cogent evidence. You have to have something to prove,” Nariman said.

He added that it was imperative to have “extraordinarily important grounds” to impeach the Chief Justice because “the final interpreters of the Constitution is the judiciary and not Parliament. The persons who finally and irrevocable interpret the Constitution are the highest court. Parliament can (only) pass a Constitutional amendment.”

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Nariman specified that bringing forth such charges against the CJI amounts to “destroying the Constitution.”

The former Bar Association of India President Nariman also spoke on how the judiciary can win back the trust of the public.

 “If you ask me what is to be done, then I would say that the four judges who wrote this letter in January could say that whilst we maintain what we said in our letter of January 12, we were never party to subscribe to any charge against the Chief Justice to warrant his impeachment," he said

"They must say that. In the public mind, they only know that this is due to what the four judges (said). But what about the other 21 judges in the Supreme Court, has anyone asked them? They are all honourable people," Fali Nariman said.