Three days before the Lok Sabha was to take up the impeachment motion against him, the controversial Calcutta high court judge Soumitra Sen in a sudden move on Thursday sent his resignation to the President.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat has decided to seek a legal opinion from the government's top law officer, Attorney General, GE Vahanvati, on whether the House should proceed with the motion against the judge on Monday in the changed scenario.
The situation is likely to become clear on Friday on whether the matter ends with Justice Sen's resignation or the Lok Sabha would still have to pass the motion.
For the first time in history, the Rajya Sabha had passed the impeachment motion against Justice Sen on August 18, after he was last year held guilty on charges of misappropriation of public funds and misrepresentation of facts by a three-member committee set-up by the Rajya Sabha chairman.According to the law governing the impeachment of judges, both Houses of parliament must pass the motion in the same session with two-thirds majority of MPs present and voting on the motion.
Justice Sen, in his single page resignation letter sent to President Pratibha Patil, stated that though he was innocent, but still the representatives of the people (Rajya Sabha MPs) in their wisdom decided against his continuance as a judge, therefore he would like to live as a common citizen.
"My son is undergoing emergency surgery and I am not in a position to travel to Delhi once again, therefore I have taken the extreme step," said Justice Sen.
In his letter to the Speaker, Sen is understood to have raised questions on the impeachment procedure adopted in the Rajya Sabha and expressed an apprehension that the same might be repeated in the Lok Sabha.
Justice Sen is unhappy for not having been provided an opportunity to rebut the allegations made against him by many MPs during the debate.
"Natural justice demanded that a chance should have been given to the judge to explain to the House his position regarding the allegations made against him," said his lawyer, Subhash Bhattacharya.
Full text: Sen's resignation letter