Lawyers at centre-stage during impeachment debate

August 19th, 2011 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The historic debate in the Rajya Sabha on the motion for removing from office Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta High Court saw legal lumaniries at their oratorical best in supporting the measure - with a lone voice of dissent.

The Bharatiya Janata Party viewpoint on supporting the motion was articulated by some of its best known faces - Arun Jaitley, Ram Jethmalani and Ravi Shankar Prasad - all of whom are lawyers.

The Congress was represented by E. M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, who too is a lawyer. The party supported the motion.

However, Satish Chandra Misra of Bahujan Samaj Party said the motion should be rejected. Misra, who is a noted lawyer from Uttar Pradesh, began by narrating how his chances of being elevated as a judge were scuttled by a letter of a former state chief minister.

Misra added in lighter vein that his not being a member of judiciary paved the way for his entering politics and he thanked the former chief minister for his letter after becoming member of the Rajya Sabha.

The DMK, AIADMK, Nationalist Congress Party and Biju Janata Dal also conveyed their viewpoint through their members who are lawyers.

All the speeches were heard in rapt attention. Unlike many other discussions in the house, the debate on the impeachment motion that stretched two days and six hours did not see interruptions.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Sitaram Yechury, who had moved the motion, later admitted he was impressed by richness of the debate.

“When occasion demands, the house has risen to the ocassion,” he said.

Unlike Wednesday, when the house was packed to strength to listen to Justice Sen’s defence, the attendance was relatively less when the debate resumed Thursday afternoon. However, the members were present in strength at the time of voting.

Though all speeches received bipartisan support, Jaitley’s point about judicial activism and need to respect separation of powers drew special applause from treasury benches and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Some members from Lok Sabha also came to witness the debate in the gallery marked for them.

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