Punish all who are tainted

..........Surely, Mr Sen is guilty of misappropriation of funds and he should be suitably punished. But what about the questions that he raised on the floor of the House? The observations that he made from the bar of the Rajya Sabha is now the property of the House, and therefore it is the prerogative and responsibility to look into the charges. If Parliament is supreme, it is the ultimate duty to bring all culprits to justice.

Mr Sen mentioned that the division bench of the Calcutta High Court had exonerated him from the charges of misappropriation. However, the then Chief Justice of India, Mr KG Balakrishnan, intervened and appointed an in-house panel to further probe into the allegations. The question is whether the CJI has any jurisdiction to intervene in the working of a High Court, particularly when there was no appeal against the judgement pending with the Supreme Court. The CJI is only the administrative head of the Indian judiciary and not the monitoring authority on the merit of the judgements delivered by High Courts. This argument needs to be deliberated at a forum of judicial experts, notwithstanding the fate of Mr Sen. If judicial independence is to be upheld, the independence of all judges should also be preserved by the Supreme Court.

Another vital observation that Mr Sen made was about the incident that he was telephonically called by then CJI Balakrishnan at the latter’s residence. And in presence of two other judges, he offered Mr Sen voluntary retirement benefits and a lucrative posting if he agreed to submit his papers. This is a grave allegation and has a criminal overtone. Parliament needs to verify the fact of the matter. If Chief Justice Balakrishnan had really made such an offer, it could amount to criminal offence as no law permits the CJI to make such an offer, particularly to one, who alleged to have indulged in corruption. Does this mean that had Mr Sen resigned at that moment, all the allegations of corruption would have remained in dark? Would it not have amounted to protecting a criminal by the supreme judicial authority of the nation? We need to find the truth.........

Many more such questions. Mr Sen was an advocate when the crime was committed. However, he was elevated to the post of High Court Judge in 2003. Appointment of a High Court Judge is a long process that goes on for months. Even for the appointment of a Special Executive magistrate, a police verification is done and the Government makes it sure that the candidate is not involved in any crime. And here a High Court advocate with a pending case of misappropriation of funds was elevated to the post of a judge. Who verified his case? This question should be asked from the selection panel to the final appointing authority. This is because, a High Court judge has the power to confirm death sentence and life imprisonment. How could a man having criminal record, punish another accused?.........

These questions need to be answered because they involve the then CJI to the then Law Minister.