The Rajya Sabha on Thursday created history when the House passed a motion to remove a judge. The House passed the motion to remove Justice Soumitra Sen, a judge of the Calcutta High Court, who is accused of fund misappropriation when he was a lawyer.
The motion to remove Justice Sen, moved by CPI(M) MP Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday, was passed with 189 MPs voting in favour and 17 against it.
The motion will now move to the Lok Sabha and the same process will be repeated on August 26 and 27. If the motion is also adopted in the Lok Sabha, a recommendation will be sent to President Pratibha Patil that the judge be removed.
Earlier Arun Jaitley led the BJP charge in the Rajya Sabha, against Justice Sen and called it a 'fit case of misconduct' by a judge.
Jaitley called for a national judicial commission to be set up to check errant judges, and objective criterion be followed for selecting judges.
On Wednesday, while defending himself, Justice Sen had argued that he hadn't misappropriated funds as a court receiver and even gave details of cheques that he had used to return the money.
Sen had got 90 minutes to defend himself against charges of misappropriating funds by claiming he had been victimised. Sen repeatedly blamed former Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan for his predicament.
Charges against Justice Sen:
Justice Sen is guilty of misappropriating sale proceeds to the tune of Rs 24 lakh in a case in 1984 where he was appointed as receiver by the Calcutta High Court. He was an advocate at that time. He was later directed to deposit Rs 52 lakh by the High Court. He had allegedly unauthorisedly taken out Rs 25 lakh from another account and invested it elsewhere.
On December 3, 2003 he was appointed to the Calcutta High Court as a judge.
He had later paid back the money but in-house committee in its February 6, 2008 report had found him guilty of "breach of trust and misappropriation of receiver's funds for his personal gain".
On March 16, 2008 the Supreme Court Collegium gave a personal hearing to Justice Sen and advised him to resign or take voluntary retirement. But Justice Sen failed to comply.
The then Chief Justice of India of India KG Balakrishnan had written to the Prime Minister on August 4, 2008 suggesting the Justice Sen be removed.
The motion to remove was pending against Justice Sen since February 2010. A three-member committee headed Supreme Court judge Justice B Sudershan Reddy in its report of September 2010 found Justice Sen "guilty of misbehaviour".
The Justice Reddy Committee found Justice Sen guilty of collecting Rs 33,22,800 from a purchaser of goods, keeping it in a savings bank account and misrepresenting facts to the High Court.
The report was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on November 10, 2010.