Making history, the Rajya Sabha today took up impeachment proceedings against Calcutta High Court judge Justice Soumitra Sen, who claimed he was being victimised and made a "sacrificial lamb" to cleanse the judiciary.
Pleading for justice, 53-year-old Sen trained his guns on former Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan over charges of misappropriation of funds and misconduct against him alleging it was his pre-determined move to hold him guilty.
"KG Balakrishnan has become accuser, prosecutor and a judge," he said in his almost two-hour defence in the Upper House which was converted into a court for the first time.
Sen said, even if he was impeached, he would "scream from the rooftop that I have not misappropriated...I am being made a sacrificial lamb to cleanse the judiciary."
He said he was being "victimised" in an effort to show "cleansing of judiciary...It is easy to showcase me as a cleansing of judiciary."
Impeachement proceedings followed admission of motions by Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley after an Inquiry Committee, headed by Supreme Court judge B Sudershan Reddy, held Sen guilty of misbehaviour.
Jaitley, who was the first speaker, accused Sen of misleading the House.
He said Sen had misled the Judges Inquiry Committee, and even the Rajya Sabha today during his defence.
"...he is unfit to be in the office of a Judge...The defence of Justice Sen has thus to be rejected," the leader of the opposition, an eminent lawyer himself, said.
The inquiry committee found him guilty of misappropriation of funds as a court-appointed receiver in a case where certain money belonging to SAIL was stuck in a dispute in 1983. The motion sought removal of Justice Sen.
With almost full attendance of 245 members including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, chairman Hamid Ansari called Justice Sen to the specially set-up bar. The 'bar' was "posted" at the door of the central aisle of the Upper House facing Ansari.
The proceedings commenced after Ansari asked the marshals: "Is Justice Sen in attendance?...Bring him to the Bar of the House."