New Delhi, Feb.20 (ANI): Former supporter of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday asked the Congress Party to explain why it did not initiate proceedings for impeachment of a Calcutta High Court Judge even after seven months of the Chief Justice of India writing to the Govt. on the issue.
With 58 Rajya Sabha MPs seeking impeachment of a Calcutta High Court judge, the CPI(M) has found it opportune to a pull the Congress Party on the issue.
"The Chief Justice of India wrote the letter in August last year recommending that proceedings of removal be initiated [against Justice Soumitra Sen] in accordance with the Constitutional procedures. Why did the Congress itself not take any action for so long? ... Government should be asked why it did not move forward. Since they did not, we have taken the initiative," said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury here in the national capital.
Sitaram said Leader of Opposition Jaswant Singh, Independent MP Bimal Jalan and MPs from four Left parties, Bharatiya Janata Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) were among the signatories to the impeachment petition to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari.
He reiterated the CPI(M) demand for establishment of a National Judicial Commission to consider appointment of judges and deal with all concerning matters including those relating to their misconduct.
The appointment is now carried out on the basis of the recommendation of a collegium of judges.
"The formation of a commission is provided in the UPA's Common Minimum Programme. Unfortunately, nothing has been done on it so far," Yechury said.
The CPI(M) leader said the motion for removal of Justice Sen was made based on "Article 217 (appointment and conditions of the office of judges of High Courts) read with Article 124 (establishment and constitution of Supreme Court) in the Constitution".
He said Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, in his letter to the Prime Minister, had said the conduct of the Calcutta High Court judge had "brought disrepute to the high judicial officer and dishonour to the independence of judiciary". (ANI)