The transfer of controversial Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court P D Dinakaran, facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament following corruption charges, to the Sikkim High Court now appears a certainty.
The Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated its stand to transfer Justice Dinakaran to Sikkim, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice Barin Ghosh to Uttarakhand and Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice J S Khehar to Karnataka.
Law ministry sources said the Collegium's recommendations have been forwarded by it to the Prime Minister's Office.
The Government had recently expressed its reservations over frequent transfers of High Court Chief Justices while returning the file relating to a chain of transfers back to the Collegium with a request to reconsider its decision.
In a letter to the CJI, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had reportedly expressed reservations over frequent transfers of Chief Justices as it could affect the functioning of High Courts bogged down by pending cases.
The previous Collegium, headed by former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, had recommended transferring Justice Dinakaran to the Sikkim High Court.
The Collegium had also recommended transferring Himachal Pradesh Chief Justice Kurian Joseph to the Jharkhand High Court.
Chief Justice Barin Ghosh, who was shifted from Jammu and Kashmir HC, had taken oath at Gangtok on April 14. In the case of Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Kurian Joseph, he had assumed office on February 8.
It is learnt that while the present Collegium headed by Balakrishnan's successor Justice S H Kapadia has now decided against transferring Justice Joseph, it has again recommended transferring Justice Ghosh to Uttarakhand.
As per the laid down procedures, if the Collegium sticks to its recommendation a second time, the Government accepts it in accordance with existing conventions.
Justice Dinakaran was recommended for promotion to the SC by the Collegium in August, 2009. But after several top jurists objected to his name citing allegations of corruption and land grabbing, the government returned the recommendation to the Collegium.
In January, opposition parties moved an impeachment motion against Justice Dinakaran. Allegations listed in the impeachment motion against Justice Dinakaran include possessing wealth disproportionate to known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters and entering into benami transactions.
The charges against him also include acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond the ceiling limit. Justice Dinakaran has refuted the allegations.
While he has been staying away from the Bench, he continues to carry out administrative functions.