Fresh from their victory in having forced the panel of senior most judges (collegium) to roll back its recommendation for promoting the controversial Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran to the Supreme Court, top jurists have now said he cannot continue as a judge.
Following a series of representations by 10 senior lawyers of the Madras High Court, backed by documentary evidence on the alleged land grabbing — confirmed by the Tamil Nadu government —and passing of orders in favour of his friends by Justice Dinakaran, the collegium finally conceded to the growing public pressure.
The lawyers have now questioned his position as a high court chief justice.
“Justice Dinakaran’s continuation in the judicial system jeopardizes the integrity of the entire system and in order to prevent any further damage, he should not be permitted to function now,” Madras lawyers have said in a letter to the collegium.
Led by jurists R Vaigai and Sreeram Panchu, the lawyers have asked the CJI to order a CBI probe into the allegations against Justice Dinakaran.
“…the Supreme Court must ask the CBI to register an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and other relevant Laws against Justice Dinakaran,” the letter said.
Justice Dinakaran’s name has been “delinked” by the collegium from the list of four other judges, recommended along with him for promotion to the Supreme Court on August 27. Decks have now been cleared for the four to be promoted to the top court.
The collegium, responsible for the appointment and promotion of judges, met thrice during the last two months to decide the issue, following serious allegations of corruption by top jurists, led by Fali S. Nariman and Shanti Bhushan, against Justice Dinakaran.
HT was the first to report about the objection by top jurists in their meeting with the Chief Justice of India (CJI), K. G. Balakrishnan on September 8.
Supporting the lawyers, the Campaign for Judicial Accountability said Justice Dinakaran’s position “had become untenable.”
“The very fact that the collegium which recommended his name in the first place, had to meet thrice, and finally tried to hide under a confused terminology for an escape route shows Justice Dinakaran should be asked to go,” said the campaign convenor, Prashant Bhushan.