Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen will not lead any evidence in his defence nor appear before a high-level committee inquiring into allegations of financial bungling and misconduct, for which he faces removal from the court.
His counsel on Thursday told the committee, headed by Supreme Court judge B. Sudarshan Reddy, that Justice Sen would not even produce any witness in his defence as all the documents relied upon by the panel were bank records and part of judicial records, sources told HT.
Sen is, however, not challenging the genuineness of the documents. He will simply advance final arguments to rebut the allegations, the counsel told the panel that concluded recording of its evidence.
The committee, also comprising Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and eminent jurist Fali S. Nariman, was set up by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari last year after 58 members of the Upper House, cutting across party lines, petitioned him demanding Justice Sen’s impeachment on the ground of financial misconduct.
The petition was filed on the basis of a letter written by the then Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan requesting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to initiate impeachment proceedings against Justice Sen.
Justice Sen has already filed a written statement before the panel claiming the documents cited against him were incomplete and inadequate as they did not give a complete picture of the alleged financial transaction.
Though Justice Sen would not produce any documents to complete the “missing link”, his lawyers claimed they would prove this fact during the final arguments.
The judge has also cited a Calcutta High Court judgment quashing the charges framed by a single judge. According to his counsel, no charges can be levelled against him in view of a judicial order that is in his favour.