Rajya Sabha trial unfair: Justice Soumitra Sen
New Delhi: Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen on Friday termed his trial by the upper house of parliament as "unfair" and said he would challenge the impeachment motion if Lok Sabha too passes it. He claimed the impeachment proceedinds were actually "for busting our judicial system" and he was "made victim of a larger interest".
Sen, who faced a six-hour-long trial and was given a two-hour opportunity to defend himself in the Rajya Sabha, said he was "denied the opportunity" to rebut the charges made by members of the house during the debate on the motion to impeach him moved by Communist Party of India-Marxist member Sitaram Yechury.
The Rajya Sabha Thursday made history by voting by a two-thirds majority to impeach him.
"The Rajya Sabha gave me an unfair trial. I am disappointed, shocked. It is a sad day for Indian democracy. Justice has taken a back foot and politics has taken over," the 53-year-old high court judge said in an interview to a Indian news channel.
"The Rajya Sabha proceedings were not held for my impeachment, it was held for busting our judicial system and I was made a victim of a larger interest," he said.
Asked about the impeachment motion against him going to the Lok Sabha now, Justice Sen said: "I will stand before the Lok Sabha and rebut the charges with facts and evidences."
He claimed that as a junior law officer there may have been errors in handling of the account, but he was not guilty of misappropriation.
"If the Lok Sabha does not reconsider the Rajya Sabha resolution, then I will move the Supreme Court. I'll carry this fight forward till the last breath of my life."
He claimed his impeachment was to show the country that something was being done against corruption.
"The government is jittery because of the Anna Hazare phenomenon and is desperate to show its people that something is being done for corruption.
Justice Sen said the impeachment motion was "a power game" being fought in the higher levels of Indian democracy on which institution was superior -- judiciary or legislature.
"When one wing (judiciary) steps up ante with regard to corruption, the other wing tries to clip it. The Rajya Sabha conclusion was foregone. I knew it but I wanted the nation to hear my voice," he added.
Noting that the Rajya Sabha vote against him had only made him more resolute in his fight, Justice Sen appealed to the politicians: "You can play your games but don't make me a victim of your games."
The judge said the Rajya Sabha members had "inflicted serious damage to judiciary" by questioning the judgment that absolved him of the same charges for which he was being impeached by parliament.