In an apparent act of defiance, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, who faces allegations of land grab that has stalled his elevation to Supreme Court, has not proceeded on leave as advised by the apex court collegium.
Justice Dinakaran is continuing with his administrative work "as of today", sources told PTI, adding he has given no indication of proceeding on leave.
A piquant situation has thus arisen with the high court having a chief justice and the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan shifting Delhi High Court acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur to Karnataka.
Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan said Justice Dinakaran could defy the collegium's advice to go on leave. He said an acting chief justice can only assume charge if the chief justice proceeds on leave.
59-year-old Justice Dinakaran has not been performing judicial functions after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari admitted a motion in December seeking his removal on charges of corruption, land-grab and abuse of judicial office.
Allegations listed in the impeachment motion against Justice Dinakaran included possessing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters, entering into benami transactions, and acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond ceiling limit.
Other allegations related to illegal encroachment on government and public property to deprive Dalits and poor of their livelihood, violation of human rights of Dalits and poor and destruction of evidence during official enquiry.
Justice Dinakaran has denied the allegations and claimed that it was orchestrated to stall his elevation to the Supreme Court.