CJI, SC judges hold meeting, court proceedings begin at 10.45 AM

NEW DELHI, Apr 23: Chief Justice (CJI) Dipak Misra and other Supreme Court judges today held a longer than usual morning meeting, leading to delay of about 15 minutes in starting of the proceedings in all courts, amid speculation that they discussed the notice to remove the CJI and its rejection.

The usual morning meeting of judges coincided with the breaking news emanating from the office of Rajya Sabha Chairperson and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu that he had rejected the notice to remove the CJI with point-wise rebuttals after consulting legal experts.

Litigants, lawyers and journalists, having their eyes on the clock, were seen murmuring about the possible reasons for the delay in start of court proceedings in the CJI’s courts.

All the courts began work at around 10.45 AM instead of the scheduled 10.30 AM.

CJI Misra, who usually holds his court at 10.30 AM, was calm and composed when he entered the packed courtroom along with companion judges — Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, at 10.45 AM.

The bench immediately started hearing lawyers and litigants who wanted their petitions to be listed for urgent hearing.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy was among the first few litigants to mention their petitions for urgent hearing. He sought listing of his plea seeking enforcement of the fundamental right to worship at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

“No.. No. Not now,” the smiling CJI said, while refusing urgent hearing on Swamy’s plea on the Ayodhya dispute.

Later, Swamy welcomed Naidu’s decision to reject the motion of Congress and other opposition parties to oust the CJI and said it could have been dismissed the day it was filed on the sole ground that the contents were disclosed to the public before filing it.

Speculation was rife among lawyers that the judges held a brief informal meeting before they started today’s business to discuss the issue surrounding the removal notice.

The Rajya Sabha Chairman today rejected the notice for impeachment of the CJI, citing lack of substantial merit in it.

Naidu held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts, including former chief justices and judges, before taking the decision, sources said.

The rejection of the notice came a day after he held the consultations to determine the maintainability of the motion. (PTI)