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Updated: August 19, 2011 13:27 IST

Rajya Sabha wants Justice Sen removed

Sandeep Dikshit
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A TV grab shows Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta High Court at the bar of the Rajya Sabha during the impeachment proceedings on Wednesday. The House impeached Justice Sen on Thursday by a two-thirds majority.
PTI
A TV grab shows Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta High Court at the bar of the Rajya Sabha during the impeachment proceedings on Wednesday. The House impeached Justice Sen on Thursday by a two-thirds majority.

189 members back impeachment motion moved by Yechury

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday approved the impeachment motion against Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court for corruption, with all members present in the House, barring the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), voting for his removal. The Lok Sabha will now take up his case in the current session itself.

The overwhelming roar of approval when Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari called for a voice vote cast the die against Justice Sen and electronic voting confirmed that 189 members were in favour of the motion moved by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, with just 17 holding the contrarian view.

This is the second time in Parliament's history that a judge has been arraigned for impropriety and the first time that he has been held culpable of the charges against him.

If Justice Sen swayed public opinion with a two-hour defence on Wednesday, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley turned the tables on him, rebutting all his arguments.

Justice Sen quickly became a victim of his defence, as the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was joined by others including E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan (Congress), and N.K. Singh (Janata Dal United), who rebuked him for seeking to drag in the judiciary at large in an attempt to exonerate himself.

Mr. Jaitley continued in the same vein on Thursday, focussing more on conclusions on the basis of the facts of the case narrated by him — Justice Sen's conduct as Receiver of the High Court and also after becoming a judge had all the “ingredients of culpability of breach of trust.”

He was “not truthful or candid,” which amounted to a case of “proven misbehaviour,” Mr. Jaitley said, displaying photocopies of cheques to buttress his contention. He pointed out that judges appointing judges was an extra-constitutional mechanism that had failed and renewed the call for the setting up of a National Judicial Commission. He also deprecated the trend of judges delivering judgments in politically sensitive cases on the eve of retirement and getting jobs the very next day from the government.

But Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) said the charges had not been “proven” and there was “no misappropriation” of funds. “The findings have said there has only been diversion of funds and not misappropriation, and secondly the finding of a single judge was dismissed by a Division Bench,” he said.

Justice Sen is not charged of corruption but for misappropriation and misrepresentation. He put forth his defense denying the charges and made certain points viz: non action on the instances of misconduct by some other Judges, allegation of conspiracy by the former CJI and some other Judges and lack of administrative jurisdiction on Supreme Court over a Judge of High Court. In the debate the MPs have rebutted his denial of charges stoutly and heavily while lightly brushing aside the non action on other Judges and allegation against the former CJI et. all. But none has responded to the point of lack of administrative jurisdiction on the CJI over a Judge. Under our Constitution the administrative powers viz: the appointment, transfer and removal of a Judge are vested with the President only. Constituting a Judges committee to probe a Judge's non judicial action becomes questionable. However we have to >watch the action to be taken by the Lokh Sabha and the President in this matter.

from:  Prof. N. Gunachandran
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 19:23 IST

Till date impeachment proceedings not been used though provision existing under our constituency. By doing so against justice sen our parliamentary system sending alert signals to highest judiciary. Prashant Bhusan calimed that majority of CJI were corrupt while giving interview to tabloid and along with his son fighting for transparency and accountability in judiciary system. Ex-CJI and present NHRC chair person facing misuse of power and other allegations. In the same P D Dinakar ex-cji of Karnataka recently put his papers after land grabing allegation leveled against him and his family members in Tamil Nadu. That prevents him to elevation of Supreme Court judge after strong voice from legal luminarities. SC recently in of his judgement directly charged Allahabad high court judges to uncle judges as they deliver justice on favour basis. Public very keenly watching this judiciary corrupt and sluggish system in disposal of cases.

from:  Raghavendra R Pawar
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 11:57 IST

Poor Soumitra; timing of the impeachment was very bad for him . Even if he really had any chance to prove his innocence, these politicians could not allow him because MPs wanted to prove a point here that "we are here to take care of corruption in judiciary and we are taking action against them." Janlokpal is not required. They wanted some weapon to fight with Anna. When he says he has being made a 'sacrificial lamb' in the season on scams I really want to believe him. How many MP’s are there who have not misused their positions in this country?

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 11:49 IST

If the decision is based on evidence of corruption and not by innuendos and insinuations, the action is appropriate. Otherwise, it would be only political and unjust!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 07:22 IST

If parliament could impeach justice Soumitra Sen then why are we waiting for politicians and even PM for his role in all the ongoing scams and who will impeach these corrupt politicians. Indians are jury in court of democracy to impeach any parliamentatrians. Public referendum is the way to impeach any politicians foind gulity of corruption just as the case of justice Sen. If Sen has to go then why are we waiting for PC, Lallo, Deshmukh, Chawan, Yeddy, Reddy's, JR, PM MS, and all the corrupt and accomplice in corruption as well.

from:  M V Chilukuri
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 06:40 IST
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