Justice Sen denies charges of fin-irregularities
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 17:44
  
Kolkata: A Calcutta High Court judge Justice Soumitra Sen, who is facing impeachment proceedings, has filed his reply to a Rajya Sabha inquiry panel in which he has denied the charge of financial irregularities against him.

A source close to Justice Sen today said the reply to a chargesheet by the three-member inquiry committee was filed with the Rajya Sabha yesterday.

"Justice Sen has denied the charges brought against him," the source told agency on the condition of anonymity.

The inquiry panel, headed by Supreme Court judge Justice B Sudarshan Reddy, had served Justice Sen with the chargesheet after it prima facie found that charges of financial irregularities were made out against him.

The committee that also comprised Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Mukul Mudgal and noted jurist Fali S Nariman had asked Justice Sen to respond by May five.

After considering the reply of Justice Sen, the Committee would conclude its hearing and submit a report to Rajya Sabha Chairperson Hamid Ali Ansari, who is the Vice President.

Fifty-eight members of the Rajya Sabha had moved a motion in February 2009 to impeach Justice Sen on the basis of a letter written by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommending Justice Sen's removal.

Justice Sen, who was an advocate of the Calcutta High Court, was appointed a receiver by the same court in April 1984 in a civil suit between Sail Authority of India Limited(SAIL) and Port authorities here.

In 1993, the High Court directed Sen to deposit Rs 24 lakh collected from the sale of certain goods arising out of the suit in a separate bank account. Sen was appointed a judge of the Calcutta High Court on December three, 2003 but the amount kept lying in his account. According to the high court, Justice Sen was found to have diverted Rs 24 lakhs to his private account.

On April 10, 2006, while directing Justice Sen to pay the amount with interest, Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta observed," Receiver being a practising advocate had betrayed the trust of and confidence reported in him by this court."

Following an order by Justice Sengupta, the money was returned along with interest in 2008 amounting to Rs 52 lakh.

Justice Sen had then claimed that there was no direction by the court to keep the money in a separate account and as such it was kept in his own bank account.

Though Justice Sen was given a favourable order by a division bench in an appeal against adverse comments made by Justice Sengupta, the matter did not rest there and an in-house committee was appointed by the Chief Justice of India.

Justice Sen was then asked either to step down or to take voluntary retirement.

But when he refused to do either, the CJI recommended impeachment proceedings against him in 2008.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 17:44


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