A panel of top Supreme Court judges (Collegium) on Sunday failed to take a decision on the promotion of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, who has been at the centre of a controversy for alleged land grabbing and judicial impropriety.
The five-member collegium headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, which met on Sunday, deferred any decision on Justice Dinakaran’s elevation to the apex court, apparently due to differences among the top judges, sources said.
This is for the third time that the collegium has met on Justice Dinakaran’s issue since August 27, when his name was recommended along with chief justices of Calcutta, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab and Haryana for elevation. The controversy is delaying the elevation of other four chief justices as well.
The collegium is understood to have sought information from the Tamil Nadu government on a fresh set of allegations levelled by Forum for Judicial Accountability against Justice Dinakaran. The Thiruvallur District Collector’s report has already indicted him for violating of various laws in grabbing public land.
Justice Dinakaran, who earlier met the CJI to explain his position, has denied all allegations. After being hounded by the media on Saturday he said, “Silence is my strength.”
In its fourth representation sent to the Collegium on October 23, the Forum had made three more allegations against the judge, including purchase of 4.5 acres of land in Ooty and acquisition of two more housing plots from Tamil Nadu Housing Board in the name of his family members in violation of one plot per family norm
The Forum has demanded that the CJI should grant sanction for initiating criminal proceedings against Justice Dinakaran under the Prevention of Corruption Act and ask him to proceed on leave.
Requesting the CJI to direct immediate attachment of Justice Dinakaran’s assets, pending investigation, the Forum demanded immediate action for his removal from the office of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice.
Asked what was the government’s response to the allegations against Justice Dinakaran and the damage done to the image of the judiciary, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said: “We will never allow the image of the judiciary to be tarnished.”