Barely a few hours before the Lok Sabha was to take up the impeachment motion against Calcutta high court judge Justice Soumitra Sen on Monday, the President on Sunday evening signed the notification accepting his resignation, which was sent to her by the government.
"The notification to be issued declaring the resignation of Shri Soumitra Sen from the position of a judge in the Calcutta high court has been signed by the hon'ble President of India," said a highly placed source.
The list of business for the Lok Sabha on Monday, however, shows that the House will take up discussion and passing of the motion for removal of justice Sen.
"We had informed the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Friday about the impeachment motion against Justice Sen being listed for Monday. We have not received any written communication so far," said a Lok Sabha official.
Constitutional experts said the motion for removal against the judge was now infructous (defunct), but the Lok Sabha could debate whether he was guilty of any wrongdoing.
The Left parties, which had initiated the move to impeach justice Sen, said in the changed scenario that the government and the Lok Sabha speaker should seek a fresh opinion from the government's top law officer, the attorney general.
"The top law officer should be called to clarify the Constitutional position in such an unprecedented situation," said CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, who had moved the motion in the Rajya Sabha.
Justice Sen, against whom the RS had passed an impeachment motion, decided to resign instead of facing the motion.
Now, secretary general TK Viswanathan has sought a legal opinion from attorney general GE Vahanvati, who stated that the House should proceed and complete the proceedings already initiated.
Noted Constitutional expert PP Rao said the Lok Sabha could still discuss the motion, though the question of removal was now irrelevant. But former CJI JS Verma said Parliament should complete the motion.
The Lok Sabha Speaker is expected to consult political parties on Monday before taking the decision.