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Sen seeks justice, defending impeachment in RS

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 19:22

New Delhi: Appearing before the Rajya Sabha
in an impeachment motion, Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta
High Court on Wednesday said allegations of misconduct and
misappropriation of funds against him were aimed at
victimising him in a pre-determined move.

In his almost two-hour defence in the Upper House which
converted in a court for the first time, Sen pleaded for
justice.

He said, "I have exhausted my remedies in accordance with
law. I have come here to seek justice. If you impeach me, it
will be the gravest of injustice done ever. Kindly apply your
mind before deciding on the judgement, as it is a question of
my life."

He said, even if he was impeached, he would "scream from
the rooftop that I have not misapropriated...I am being made a
sacrificial lamb to cleanse the judiciary."

He also said that tarnishing the image of a judge is like
tarnishing the image of the judiciary.

Justice Sen appeared before a `bar` "posted" at the gate
of the central aisle of the Upper House facing the Chairman
Hamid Ansari as CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury moved two motions
against him.

As the impeachment proceedings were about to start, Ansari
asked the marshals: "Is Justice Sen in attendance?...Bring him
to the Bar of the House."

The motions supported by Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley
was on grounds of misconduct by Sen on account of
misappropriation of large sums of money, which he received in
his capacity as receiver before his elevation to the High
Court. The second ground is that he misrepresented facts with
regard to the misappropriation of money before the High Court.

Defending himself, Sen said "the decision to hold me
guilty was taken long time back" as an inquiry was initiated
against him even after a Division Bench of the High Court had
cleared him of the charges.

He contended that the case against him was based on the
former CJI Justice K G Balakrishanan`s letter to the Prime
Minister in this regard. Balakrishnan thought a deeper probe
was necessary, though there were no allegations against him,
he said.

Claiming that "there has been no misappropriation in fact
and in law," he said.

Sen said his conduct as a judge was never under
examination. The allegations of misappropriation against him
were in his capacity as a receiver of the High Court in
Calcutta and not as a Judge, he said.

"Is there a single allegation against me on the judicial
side," he asked. In a reference to a former CJI, Sen said he
has not been held guilty of any "land grabbing or amassing
wealth" and neither are there any allegations against his
relatives.

Sen said while he did not cast aspersions on judiciary,
there seems to have been "abuse of power" by someone holding
high office in judiciary. "They are too anxious to hold me
guilty."

He said the allegations against him were only in the form
of "adverse observations" by a single judge and subsequently
by an in-house Committee.

While one judge disbelieved him, two other judges trusted
him in the Division Bench Order, but the former CJI did not
believe him. "The man in the highest form of judiciary has
held me guilty," he said, adding there was not much he could
do.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 10:19

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