Controversial Calcutta High Court judge, Soumitra Sen, who faces impeachment (removal) proceedings, said on Monday he had no intention of quitting and would defend himself in Parliament if he had to.
“I have committed no wrong. My conscience is clear. On the basis of mere speculation and motivated leaks I can’t be forced to decide,” Justice Sen told HT from Kolkata.
The panel probing the judge’s conduct submitted its report to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari on Friday, reportedly recommending his impeachment. A high court judge can only be impeached if — after a probe panel finds him guilty — a motion to that effect is passed by Parliament. The judge has the right to participate in the discussion on the motion.
Justice Sen hinted he was the victim of a political conspiracy.
“From what appeared in the media, the timing of the notice against me, and the names of those who signed it appear to be suspicious,” he said.
On other matters, Justice Sen directed HT to his lawyer, Subhash Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya questioned the role of K.G. Balakrishnan, chief justice of India when the probe panel was set up.
“Justice Balakrishnan set up the judges’ committees to probe allegations against Justice Sen and Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab & Haryana High Court during his tenure. Why did he recommend only one of them be impeached? Why was his stand different on Justice Yadav?” he asked.
Bhattacharya also said Justice Balakrishnan should have distanced himself from the matter once he had recommended the impeachment.
“He recommended the impeachment in August 2008 in a letter to the Prime Minister, and later suggested names of judges for the probe panel,” Bhatacharya said. “Justice Balakrishnan should not have given the names, since he had already judged the matter.”