Rajya Sabha impeaches Sen
The Rajya Sabha has passed the impeachment motion against Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court, clearing the first stage for his removal. This is the first time in the country’s history that an impeachment motion against a judge has been passed by either House of Parliament. The impeachment motion was passed with 189 ayes and 17 noes, the latter from members belonging to BSP which opposed the motion. Trinamool Congress MPs were absent during voting. This is significant as Sen’s impeachment is seen as part of the fight between CPM and expelled leader and former Speaker Somnath Chaterjee. The impeachment motion will come up before the Lok Sabha next week. If passed by a twothirds majority in the Lok Sabha, the motion will be referred to the President who will order Justice Sen’s removal as a judge. Replying to the discussion on the impeachment motion, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, the entire deliberations, including Justice Sen’s 100-minute defence, had only proved the misbehaviour on his part, both as a court-appointed receiver as well as after his elevation as a judge.