Parliament Should Impeach President Prativa Patil

If democracy in India deserves not to be killed, the Parliament should impeach President Pratibha Patil for having sabotaged its business of impeaching Justice S. Sen of Kolkata High Court whose corruption forms the crux of allegation against him.

The Rajyasabha has already adopted the resolution to impeach him and the Loksabha has duly taken up the issue and enlisted his impeachment in its business to transact.

As such the issue of impeachment of Justice Sen is a pending business before the Loksabha. The Loksabha is the only authority, in the circumstances, to take a decision on impeachment of Justice Sen and his consequent removal or continuance on application of its collective wisdom, after which the President should have discharged her duties as deemed proper in the matter.

But by co-operating with Sen to evade impeachment, she has clearly sabotaged the Parliament’s continuing business.

Under the stipulations laid down in the Constitution, removal from office a Judge of higher judiciary is to follow “an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session”. But Article 121 makes it clear that “no discussion shall take place in Parliament with respect to the conduct of any Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court in the discharge of his duties except upon a motion for presenting an address to the President praying for the removal of the Judge”. Once the motion is admitted in the House in this respect, the matter, till disposal by the concerned House, is an absolute property of the same House and cannot be rendered inconsequential in the midway. Any action, that makes the pending business before any House of the Parliament by any body inconsequential, should certainly be seen as an offense against the Parliament.

Parliament comprises the President, the Loksabha and the Rajyasabha and the President can neither legally nor morally dissociate from its businesses. On the other hand, a Loksabha official has informed that the President has been informed on Friday that the impeachment motion against Justice Sen was being listed for Monday. The impeachment motion was headlined by all the print majors and telecasted by all the TV channels worth the name and the President is provided with top ranking information officers to update every important information to her. She cannot plead ignorance about the motion of impeachment awaiting Loksabha votes.

In the circumstances, it is very clear that she has played tricks upon the Parliament by accepting the resignation of Justice Sen, intended to preempt his removal by way of impeachment.

In doing this also, she has contravened the Constitution of India and has broken her oath to preserve and protect it.

It is mandated in the Constitution that, to resign his office, a Judge must address his resignation to the President, “by writing under his hand”. This make it a must for the President to reject the resignation application if the Judge has not written it in his hand.

Justice Sen had sent his application, design to frustrate the Loksabha agenda, to the President by fax and therefore the document before the President was never wriiten by his hand. There was, hence, no scope for the President to entertain it. But she has done.

Ms. Pratibha Patil has undoubtedly degraded the august office of the President by resorting to this illegality and offense against the Parliament.

If democracy dose not deserve to be killed, she should be impeached by the Parliament for this brazen misconduct.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The country expects fair dealings from the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues. But whosoever might have watched how Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s face became nasty in wrath, as Orissa MPs expressed resentment to lack of fairness in central aid to Orissa, must have been deeply disappointed.

Might be Mukherjee was right in saying that the BJD MPs were not right in raising an issue not contextually concerned with the business before the House at that time. But the way he reacted reflected his irritations in his face and presented a posture not becoming of a Minister.

Orissa was discriminated against last year by Man Mohan Singh Government in the matter of central assistance to tackle the catastrophic damages wrecked by rivers in full spate. Even as Orissa damage was no less severe than that in Bihar, Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and UPA Chief Sonia, then dependant on Lalu Pr. Jadav of Bihar for survival of their Government, rushed there and announced an instant assistance of Rs.1000 crores over and above the flood of funds Lalu was pumping from the Railways to that State as flood assistance. The Center deliberately delayed in having a survey of the spate in Orissa and when, much after the deluge had receded, the Union Home Minister made a reluctant visit to evade world criticism for negligence to Orissa on political grounds, he had announced central assistance worth only Rs. 500 crores in a face-saving attempt. But that the Union Minister’s announcement was a mere joke was unveiled as in reality the Union granted only Rs.98 crores.

It is shocking and surprising that out of this amount, the Union Government now wants refund of Rs.80 crores when on records in the Loksabha it has stated not to withdraw any fund from Bihar.

Orissa is undoubtedly discriminated against in absence of a legal guideline.

Orissa MPs were provoked by this Central foul play to raise their voice against the refund demand in the Loksabha on July 10. Their concern was never wrong, even though we agree, the timing might have been.

But was it proper for Mukherjee to have jumped into a quarrel with Orissa MPs in an obnoxious manner that watching the proceedings on TV screen we got the impression of?

Besides being the Finance Minister he is the Leader of the Loksabha as Prime Minister Singh is disqualified to hold the post. We marked, instead of addressing the Speaker, Mukherjee crossed words directly with the BJD leader in Loksabha, his face showing bitter contempt towards the Orissa MPs.

It will be better if Mukherjee practices not to show nasty irritation in his face when MPs from a State get provoked to voice their resentment against their State being discriminated against by the Union.