The government on Friday steered clear of the caste controversy about the proposed promotion of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran, even as the Scheduled Castes panel and top jurists engaged in a war of words.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) had on Thursday attacked “the vilification campaign” against Dalit judges in the higher judiciary. “We are duty bound to take stock of the vilification against Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan and Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court PD Dinakaran,” the NCSC had said in a statement.
Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily refused to join issue with the commission.
“I would not like to comment on the basis of media reports. If something is sent to us, then only can the ministry take a view,” he told Hindustan Times.
NCSC chairman Buta Singh, however, kept up the attack on Friday. He slammed former law minister Shanti Bhushan for saying Dinakaran was being promoted since he was a Dalit.
“Action should be initiated against Bhushan,” said Singh, who was himself questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation on September 10, in a corruption case, allegedly involving his son.
An angry Bhushan dismissed Singh’s charge as “absurd”.
“The issue here is not caste but corruption. I have highest respect for Dalits,” Bhushan said.
Justice Dinakaran was among the five judges recommended for promotion to the Supreme Court by a collegium (a panel of India’s top judges) on August 27.
However, eminent jurists led by Fali S. Nariman and Ram Jethmalani, in a letter to the Chief Justice of India and Prime Minister on September 8, levelled serious allegations of corruption against Dinakaran and demanded a probe against him.