The Parliament on Monday missed its date with history after the Lok Sabha dropped the impeachment motion against Calcutta high court judge Justice Soumitra Sen. Sen’s resignation was accepted by the President on Sunday night.
Though the Lok Sabha had kept the impeachment motion in its schedule for Monday, it was clear that the Parliament's six-decade-old wait to impeach a judge would not come to an end, since acceptance of the resignation had ended the matter.
The Rajya Sabha had passed the motion to impeach Justice Sen on August 18, after which the Lok Sabha would have made a similar move, but the judge pre-empted the move with his sudden resignation last week.
The day began with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee holding consultations with the law minister Salman Khurshid and parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar also discussed the issue with the government and leaders of various political parties. Though the Parliament was being repeatedly adjourned on the issue of the Gujarat lokayukta and the lawyers strike in Uttar Pradesh, it had become clear by the noon that the impeachment motion will not be taken up.
Soon after the House met after lunch, Khurshid informed the House that Justice Sen had resigned and his resignation had “become effective from the afternoon of September 1.”
The Speaker then moved a resolution to get the sense of the House on the issue that the impeachment motion was no longer required. Members responded by saying — Yes —after which she declared that the “House agrees”.
This ended the four-day suspense which had begun with Justice Sen's resignation on Thursday, which the President had referred to the justice department of the law ministry, saying it was not in order.
The Lok Sabha secretariat had sought the opinion of attorney general GE Vahanvati, who stated on Friday that impeachment proceedings, having already been completed in the Rajya Sabha, should be completed by the other House.
Justice Sen, however, sent a revised resignation in his own handwriting on Saturday to the President and the law ministry.
This was processed by the ministry, since it was found to be in order and was forwarded to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.