Soumitra Sen resigns ahead of Monday’s impeachment motion

Soumitra Sen resigns ahead of Monday’s impeachment motion

Kolkata: Ahead of the impeachment motion against him in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Justice Soumitra Sen on Thursday resigned as judge of the Calcutta high court.

“I have decided not to go to the Lok Sabha and instead put in my papers," Sen, who was to have appeared before the Lok Sabha on 5 September, told the news agency here.

“I have sent my resignation to President Pratibha Patil and a copy of it to the Lok Sabha Speaker," he said.

In his letter to the President, Justice Sen has said that since Rajya Sabha has decided in its wisdom that he should not continue as a judge, he was resigning and wanted to live as a common citizen, his lawyer Subhash Bhattacharya said.

The Rajya Sabha had on 18 August overwhelmingly approved the impeachment motion against Justice Sen.

All parties except BSP were of the view that Sen was guilty.

Sen’s impeachment was the first in the Rajya Sabha after he was found guilty of misappropriating Rs33.23 lakh under his custody as a court-appointed receiver in the capacity as a lawyer, and misrepresenting facts before a Calcutta court in a 1983 case.

Impeachment proceedings followed motions moved by Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley after an Inquiry Committee, appointed by the Rajya Sabha chairman and headed by Supreme Court Judge B. Sudershan Reddy, held Sen guilty of misconduct.

Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee said that he was very sad to learn that Justice Sen had resigned and felt that “justice was denied to him".

Justice P. D. Dinakaran, Chief Justice of the Sikkim high court, against whom the Rajya Sabha chairman had set up a judicial panel to enquire into allegations of corruption, had resigned on 29 July this year, before impeachment proceedings could be initiated against him.

The first such case involved the impeachment motion in Lok Sabha of Justice V. Ramaswami of the Supreme Court in May 1993 which fell due to lack of numbers after Congress members abstained.