New Delhi: CPI(M) MP Sitaram Yechury moved the impeachment motion against Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Yechury moved the motion after Justice Sen was brought to the bar of the House and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari gave the go ahead.
"The matter pertaining to removal of the judge is very serious. The time alloted is 4 hours excluding 90 minutes alloted to the judge himself," said Ansari.
Moving the motion Yechury said that the motion was not against the judiciary but against just one judge.
"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," said the CPI(M) leader.
However, Justice Sen defended himself by claiming that there are no charges against him or his integrity.
"Honorable 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 Justice Sen.
According to him "mere diversion of funds did not amount to misappropriation of funds".
Sen said that there was a presumption of guilty against him by the then chief justice of India KG Balakrishnan, when he ordered an inquiry by a committee of judges.
Sen mentioned the name of Balakrishnan several times as one who was biased against him at every stage of the inquiry.
After Sen's defence, the house will debate the motion and vote on it. If the motion is passed by two-thirds of the members present and voting, it will go to the Lok Sabha within a week. If it is approved by both the houses of Parliament, the motion would go to the President, who can order the removal of the judge from office.
(With additional information from IANS)