Three days after Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran was advised by the panel of seniormost judges in the country to proceed on leave, the judge on Sunday sought legal opinion on the matter.
Justice Dinakaran, facing an impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha, is yet to take a decision on whether to accept the Supreme Court collegium’s advice since sources close to him feel “he was not bound to do so.”
In a related development, likely to delay and complicate the matter further, the probe panel formed by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari in January to probe allegations against him will have to be reconstituted.
This follows the collegium recommendation to promote Bombay High Court Chief Justice A.R. Dave to the Supreme Court.
Justice Dave is a member of the probe panel, but would not be able to continue since the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, states
that it would constitute a Supreme Court judge, high court chief justice and an eminent jurist.
The three-member panel is headed by Justice V.S. Sirpurkar of the Supreme Court and lawyer P.P. Rao is the other member. Ansari would have to ask the Chief Justice of India to provide a replacement for Justice Dave.
Justice Dinakaran was closeted with judges and lawyers throughout Sunday. His office said, “The honourable justice has been kept busy by a steady stream of visitors, whom we don’t wish to reveal.”
“No formal communication has been received so far from Delhi on the purported media reports about his transfer. Once it is there, the next step will be decided,” said a source close to the Justice Dinakaran.
“The Constitution does not provide for forced leave of judges. The Supreme Court can merely suggest in this matter, it has no powers to impose its decision. What has been proven against Justice Dinakaran so far?” the source said.