Coming out in support of eminent jurists, the Supreme Court (SC) and Delhi High Court bar association presidents on Wednesday questioned the continuance of Justice P.D. Dinakaran as Chief Justice (CJ) of the Karnataka High Court (HC).
Justice Dinakaran has been recommended for promotion to the SC but top jurists, including Fali S. Nariman, Ram Jethmalani and Shanti Bhushan, have opposed the move.
In a joint letter to Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, SC and Delhi HC bar association chiefs M.N. Krishnamani and K.C. Miittal said: “The position of a high court chief justice is more pivotal than that of a Supreme Court judge. If a judge, because of his doubtful integrity, cannot be elevated to SC, certainly he has no right to continue as HC CJ.”
The controversy about Justice Dinakaran’s proposed promotion had hit the headlines following a letter by eminent jurists to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) K.G. Balakrishnan demanding a probe into the “serious allegations” against Justice Dinakaran.
“If the concerned controversial judge has enormous assets, still he did not disclose them and if he could not have accumulated them by legitimate means, then it is a serious matter,” the bar leaders said in the letter, copies of which have also been sent to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Bar Council of India (BCI), the top regulator of the legal profession, sought the PM’s intervention to stall the promotion of the controversial judge.
Terming it a “serious matter”, BCI Chairman S.N.P. Sinha said: “It needs urgent deliberation by the Chief Justice of India, Members of the Collegium, Prime Minister and the Union Law Minister in order to save the image, majesty and grandeur of the highest judicial body of the country.”
A group of jurists questioned the silence of the government and the CJI on the matter. They are likely to meet Moily on Thursday.