CJI recommends impeachment of Kolkata HC judge

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New Delhi, Sep 8 (UNI) The Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has recommended impeachment of a sitting Kolkata High Court Judge Soumitra Sen for misappropriating Rs 22.83 lakh from the receiver's account to his personal account.

Justice Sen, allegedly acted in an 'inappropriate manner' as the receiver of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) in 1993.

Justice Sen was appointed as the receiver in a dispute between SAIL and the Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.

Justice Sen was appointed as the High Court judge in 2003.

He was asked to resign but did not comply and therefore, the Chief Justice has recommended his impeachment by Parliament.

A sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge can be removed from his post only through an impeachment by Parliament.

The recommendation has already being sent to the Law Ministry.

Law Minister H R Bhardwaj today confirmed to the media that he has received the recommendation of the CJI and has forwarded it.

A resolution for his impeachment is to be passed by joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament. Then he will be removed by the President, who is the appointing authority for Supreme Court or High Court judges.

A three-judge committee of the High Court had inquired into the matter and found Justice Sen guilty of 'misappropriation' of funds and the judicial work was withdrwan from him in 2006.

The CJI had written a letter to the Prime Minister on August 4, 2008 recommending impeachment proceedings against Justice Sen under Article 217 (1) read with Article 124(4) of the Constitution.

According to the letter, the High Court by its order dated April 30, 1984 appointed him as the receiver to make an inventory of certain goods for SAIL and he was directed to deduct five per cent of the sale price towards his remuneration and keep the balance in a separate bank account and hold the same free from lien or encumbrances subject to further orders of the court.

The High Court had directed a payment of Rs 70 lakh to the workers of Kolkata Fans, a company in liquidation and justice Sen, who was a practising advocate at that time was appointed as special officer to disperse Rs 70 lakh to the workers.

He deposited Rs 25 lakh from the Special Officers Account with a company M/S Lynx India ltd, which later went into liquidation.

Justice Sen later returned the money under judicial orders.

UNI SC AE KP1400

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