A defiant Calcutta high court judge Soumitra Sen on Friday trashed the three member probe report which had indicted him last month for misappropriation of public and having made false statements, saying the panel set up by the Rajya Sabha chairman acted on a "defective impeachment motion".
In a 147-page reply submitted to the Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari through his lawyer, Justice Sen, who could become the first judge in India to be impeached (removed) by Parliament, said various facts had been hidden in the impeachment motion and in the inquiry report.
Following the reply the next step of moving the impeachment motion against Justice Sen would now be possible only during the budget session next year.
"To begin with, the recommendation made by the former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan to impeach Justice Sen was not based on legal facts," said his lawyer, Subhas Bhattacharya.
"Justice Balakrishnan mentioned the indictment of Justice Sen by an in-house committee of three judges based on the judgment delivered by a single judge of the Calcutta high court, but there was no mention of the judgment delivered by a high court division bench which cleared him of all wrong doing," he said.
"The formation of an in-house committee of judges in 2007 against Justice Sen was illegal, since there was no complaint against him in the public domain. The only complaint against him was the adverse remarks by a single judge of the high court, which were also deleted later," states the reply.
"The Parliament cannot discuss about the role of a court appointed officer (receiver in this case). Also in the absence of any amount being quantified, the impeachment motion is also vague," the reply further said.
According to Bhattacharya, in response to an RTI plea filed by him, the Calcutta high court replied "no such procedure had been adopted by the court."
Terming the impeachment motion as defective, Bhattacharya said it has relied merely on vague allegations.