Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari is soon expected to form a three-member committee to probe the allegations against the controversial Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran, against whom 75 Opposition MPs served a notice for impeachment last month.
Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan had last week sent a panel of four names to Ansari for forming a probe committee, after the chairman wrote to him asking for the names of judges to be a part of the panel.
The panel has names of Justice HS Bedi and Justice VS Sirupurkar from the Supreme Court, and Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice A.R. Dave and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay, HT has learnt.
According to the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, the chairman will form a committee headed by a Supreme Court judge which will include a High Court Chief Justice and an eminent jurist as its members.
Ansari has the option either to choose from the panel of names sent by the CJI or ask for more names, a highly placed source said. “The chairman asks for names from the CJI as a matter of convention and not a rule,” the source said.
“The process is on and the hon’ble chairman will soon take a decision,” said Rajya Sabha Secretary General VK Agnihotri. He declined to entertain any further queries on the issue.
“The (people) on the committee will be the nominees of the chairman of the Rajya Sabha. It is being done pursuant to Judges Enquiry Act and the process is on,” Ansari had said on Tuesday.
According to the Constitution, once an impeachment notice is admitted, the chairman forms a probe committee and the future proceedings will depend on its findings. In case, the panel holds the judge guilty of charges levelled against him, the motion will be introduced in the House. However, if the panel exonerates the judge, impeachment proceedings will have to be dropped.
Justice Dinakaran will get a chance to present his defence before the probe panel.