Justice Sen submits signed resignation to president


New Delhi : Two days after sending it by fax, Calcutta High Court Judge Justice Soumitra Sen Saturday sent his resignation letter through his lawyers to President Pratibha Patil, amid possibility of the Lok Sabha going ahead with its impeachment motion against him Monday.

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“His lawyers came and submitted his resignation letter written in his (Justice Sen’s) own handwriting. The president accepted it and has forwarded it to the justice department. The resignation is in order,” Archana Datta, the president’s spokesperson, told IANS.

According to sources, if a resignation by a high court judge comes in a “set format” and is “addressed to the president, it comes into effect”.

Sources said the Lok Sabha would take a final call on whether it should take up the impeachment process against Sen, after the Rajya Sabha Aug 18 passed an impeachment motion against him for financial irregularities. “Now, it depends on the Lok Sabha whether they want to impeach him,” sources said.

Justice Sen had announced his resignation in Kolkata Thursday through his lawyer.

On Friday, a faxed resignation letter of Justice Sen had reached the president, but it was found that it did not carry his “original signature”. The president’s office had said they were awaiting the hard copy of the letter.

Justice Sen sent a copy of his resignation letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar too Friday.

Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati clarified that the motion against him in the Lok Sabha may be taken up despite the resignation as it was not “in proper format”.

The motion for removal of the judge has also been included in the list of business of the Lok Sabha Monday.

Vahanvati is understood to have said that Justice Sen should have resigned before the Rajya Sabha took up the impeachment proceedings.

Jusice Sen is only the second judge to face such proceedings. If the impeachment motion is taken up and passed in the lower house, Justice Sen would become the country’s first judge whose removal had been sought by parliament for misconduct.

Justice Sen, then an advocate, was held guilty of misappropriating Rs.33.23 lakh in a 1983 case, while he was appointed a receiver by the high court.

He denied the allegations during his hearing in the Rajya Sabha.