New Delhi, Aug 18 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court, accused of corruption, was impeached in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday by an overwhelming majority.
He was impeached (which means he will be removed from his office) in a historic move after the house panel found him guilty. He is the first sitting judge of any high court to be impeached.
A special committee, headed by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, found Sen guilty of misappropriating around Rs. 24 lakh in 1990s.
A total of 172 votes were in favour of his impeachment against 16 against it. One member abstained.
Now Lok Sabha can debate the issue though there was a consensus of all political parties.
Now his removal also needs the approval of the President of India.
Justice Soumitra Sen in his strong defence in the Rajya Sabha during the impeachment proceedings had alleged that he was being made a “sacrificial lamb”.
But his defence was ripped apart by Opposition Leader in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley who argued that Sen had misled the House
Communist Party of India (Maxist) (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury began the impeachment motion against Sen on Wednesday.
“This has not happened in our history so far. By moving this motion we are not moving against the judiciary, it is only a motion against one judge. Individual acts of misbehaviour cannot find refuge,” said Yechury.
“Judges are assumed to be of supreme character. I have moved this motion in response to call of duty. This motion is moved with the full sanction of our Constitution. Our constitution provides very important duty to judiciary. It would be a very sad day if this faith of the people is undermined,” he said.
Sen defended himself and claimed he is innocent to the charges.
“Honourable elected member of Parliament you are my elected member too. I am here to present my defence. There is no misappropriation of money – in fact and in law. There are no charges against me on my integrity. You are trying to me punish me through a non judicial process,” said Sen.
The 53-year-old Sen also attacked former Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan over the charges and said he was made guilty because of the latter.