Top jurists on Saturday questioned Justice P.D. Dinakaran’s continuation as judge, a day after they succeeded in forcing the government to reject the recommendation to promote him to the Supreme Court.
Fresh from their victory after a three-month struggle, the jurists, supported by many opposition parties, will now push for the removal (impeachment) of the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice.
Sensing the mood in the opposition camp, Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily is understood to have started consultations with their leaders to dissuade them from moving the impeachment motion in Parliament.
A motion for impeachment of a Supreme Court or high court judge has to be signed by 50 Rajya Sabha or 100 Lok Sabha MPs.
The government is understood to be in favour of Dinakaran being transferred from Karnataka High Court, and is likely to place this suggestion before the Supreme Court panel of seniormost judges (collegium).
Moily said, “It would not be appropriate to comment on sensitive issues of judges’ appointment.”
Former law minister and veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani, said, “In case I were in such a situation, I would have resigned by now. It is a matter of individual choice, but with the eventuality of an impeachment motion looming large, I think the concerned judge can provide the solution.”
Former law minister and senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan, who led the campaign against Dinakaran, said that not being promoted did not render any judge ineligible for the job, but in this case the integrity of Dinakaran was in doubt.