There is no end to the confusion surrounding the fate of controversial Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran.
The issue of his transfer to Sikkim complicated further on Monday, as the judge who was transferred to the state before Justice Dinakaran is likely to take over as chief justice in Gangtok on Tuesday.
According to an official communiqué in Gangtok, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Barin Ghosh will be sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court on Tuesday. He will be sworn in at 5 pm by Acting Governor MK Narayan at the Raj Bhawan.
Justice Ghosh was transferred to Sikkim in March, but two sudden decisions by a panel of seniormost judges in the country — the Supreme Court collegium — during the first week of April, took everybody by surprise. First, the collegium advised Justice Dinakaran to proceed on leave on April 1, which he defied. A week later, on April 8, he was recommended for transfer to Sikkim.
This set-off a strange game of musical chairs in many high courts, since the transfers of chief justices were inter-linked.
The collegium was learnt to have recommended Justice Ghosh’s name for Uttarakhand High Court to accommodate Justice Dinakaran at Sikkim.
The law ministry, however, said it had not received any written communication from the collegium so far. “As of now the law ministry has not received any collegium recommendation on transferring Justice Dinakaran. Justice Ghosh is assuming charge there on Tuesday,” an official said. “Justice Ghosh would have to be transferred again, that is the only way out,” he added.
The ministry also faces the difficult task of convincing the lawyers in Sikkim, who are protesting Justice Dinakaran’s proposed transfer. “He is facing an impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha, we don’t want a chief justice facing corruption allegations,” the Bar Association of Sikkim said.