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Soumitra Sen to be grilled

delhi Updated: May 24, 2010 00:35 IST
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Sixteen months after an impeachment (removal) motion was moved against him in the Rajya Sabha, Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court, will finally be questioned by a three-member probe panel next month.

The panel set up by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari after opposition MPs submitted an impeachment motion citing corruption charges in February last year, is unhappy with Sen's response to allegations against him, HT has learnt.

Sources said the panel will hold further probe in Kolkata.

"The committee will be in Kolkata between June 23 and 25. Among others Justice Sen will be called for face-to-face questioning and an opportunity will be given to him to offer his defence," said a source.

Headed by Justice B Sudarshan Reddy of the Supreme Court, the other two members of the panel are Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice Mukul Mudgal and noted jurist, Fali S Nariman.

The probe panel had charged Justice Sen in April on two counts - misappropriation of public funds amounting to nearly Rs 58 lakh and misrepresentation of facts before the Calcutta High Court.

In his 95-page reply sent to the probe panel earlier this month, Soumitra Sen trashed both the charges against him.

"I have not used the court money for personal gains and had repaid the entire amount of Rs 33 lakh with an interest of Rs 25 lakh within the stipulated time fixed by the court. I had been exonerated of all the charges by a division bench of the Calcutta High Court," Sen stated in his reply.

Justice Sen said since the indictment against him had been expunged by a judicial order, it could not be examined by an executive authority like the committee.

The case dates back to February 13, 1984, when Sen, was appointed as a receiver in a dispute between the Steel Authority of India Limited and Shipping Corporation of India on the selling of imported goods through public auction.