Minutes after senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal confirmed at an Opposition parties news briefing that a motion had been moved in the Rajya Sabha to impeach Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, a revolt broke out within the party with other leaders voicing their dissent.
Salman Khurshid, a former Law and Justice minister in the UPA government, said:
"I don't think anyone should cast aspersions on the judiciary. The judiciary is well equipped to handle very difficult matters. Not everyone will always agree with the judiciary. The judiciary itself doesn't always agree amongst itself, there are dissenting judges. There's always a possibility that a larger bench will overturn the decision even of the highest court. But I think that all of us who work here understand that this is part of a procedure. We should respect it. Ultimately the judiciary must have the respect of everybody in this country."
Khurshid's remarks carry a diametrically-opposite tone and tenor to that of Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal who had made the announcement regarding the impeachment motion.
Speaking at the briefing, Sibal had most definitely cast aspersions on the judiciary, accusing the CJI of not 'asserting the independence of the judiciary in light of interference of the executive.'
"Should the nation stand still and do nothing? Should the people of this country allow the institution to diminish? That's what we were confronted with", Sibal had said, adding that they had moved the motion with "a very heavy heart."
Khurshid's remarks aren't the only voice of dissent within the Congress as far as the impeachment motion is concerned. As per top sources, four senior Congress leaders advised Rahul Gandhi against the impeachment move.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is yet to issue a formal clarification in the matter though he too had held a news briefing following the 4 Supreme Court judges' unprecedented press conference in January. Rahul Gandhi had sought an investigation into the death of Justice Loya. The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed all such petitions that had challenged the 'natural death' angle in Judge Loya's demise. Kapil Sibal, in his statement on Friday also raised the Loya issue, though Ghulam Nabi Azad was careful to clarify that the Congress had sought to move the motion even before the Supreme Court's Loya judgment.