The first ever impeachment proceedings in the history of Rajya Sabha will take place on Wednesday, with chairman Hamid Ansari rejecting Calcutta high court judge Soumitra Sen's plea to grant him 10 days extension to prepare for the motion against him.
Justice Sen was informed by the Rajya Sabha secretariat on Tuesday to be present or be represented through his lawyer in the House for discussion and voting on the impeachment motion.
"We were given only a week for preparation, and there are three public holidays in the week. So we sought for 10 more days to come to Delhi with relevant documents for our defence," said Sen's lawyer Subhash Bhattacharya.
"We have been told by the Rajya Sabha officials that our request has been rejected. We have now been given 90 minutes to put our defence on August 17," he said.
Justice Sen, however, has not yet revealed whether he would be present himself or would send his lawyer before the House. “No final decision has been taken," his office said.
Rajya Sabha officials have begun preparations for the historic event in the House, which will be converted into a court during the impeachment proceedings. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who had given the notice for Justice Sen's impeachment, signed by 58 MPs, will move the impeachment motion against him.
The Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, states that a sitting judge of the SC or HC can only be removed through impeachment by both Houses with a two-thirds majority of MPs present and voting in favour of the motion, which must be passed in the same session by both Houses.