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CJI questions timing of Dinakaran allegations; RS names probe panel

Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday ordered the constitution of a three-member committee of experts headed by Supreme Court Judge V.S. Sirpurkar....

Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday ordered the constitution of a three-member committee of experts headed by Supreme Court Judge V.S. Sirpurkar to probe the charges against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran.

Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice A.R. Dave and Constitution expert and jurist P.P. Rao are the other members on the panel,which will recommend if the charges against Dinakaran merit his impeachment. Justice Sirpurkar was Dinakaran’s colleague in the Madras High Court.

The names of four judges were forwarded last week by CJI K.G. Balakrishnan.

Last month,Ansari had admitted the notice by 75 members of the Rajya Sabha to begin impeachment proceedings against Dinakaran,whose elevation to the Supreme Court cleared by the collegium headed by CJI Balakrishnan,has been put on hold.

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Meanwhile,CJI Balakrishnan said the allegations against Dinakaran had come only after his name had been recommended for elevation.

In an interview to CNN-IBN,Balakrishnan,while refusing to comment on the impeachment motion,said,“All these allegations have been raised when his name was suggested to be elevated.” He was asked whether he believed the impeachment proceedings were the result of a campaign to “vilify” Dinakaran. Balakrishnan added,“It (the matter against Dinakaran) has now gone to impeachment proceedings. I don’t want to talk anything about the integrity or anything. He has to defend himself.”

At the same time,Balakrishnan questioned why allegations against Dinakaran had not been made earlier in his career. “I can say one thing: there was not a single allegation when he was a judge of the Madras High Court; there was not a single allegation when he became Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka in August 2008. Till his name was recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for elevation there was not a single allegation. Not a member of the bar raised any objection,nothing. All these allegations have been raised when his name was suggested to be elevated,” he said.

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The panel constituted under the Judges (Inquiry) Act today would go into the 12 acts of alleged misbehaviour by Dinakaran listed in the 55-page impeachment motion moved by MPs. The allegations include possessing wealth disproportionate to 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.

Today,in his interview,the CJI also asserted he was not opposed to demands that his office be brought under the purview of the Right to Information Act. “There is lot of misinformation about this. The media thinks I am against Right to Information. It is not like that,” he said.

a campaign to “vilify” Dinakaran. Balakrishnan added,“It (the matter against Dinakaran) has now gone to impeachment proceedings. I don’t want to talk anything about the integrity or anything. He has to defend himself.”

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At the same time,Balakrishnan questioned why allegations against Dinakaran had not been made earlier in his career. “I can say one thing: there was not a single allegation when he was a judge of the Madras High Court; there was not a single allegation when he became Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka in August 2008. Till his name was recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for elevation there was not a single allegation. Not a member of the bar raised any objection,nothing. All these allegations have been raised when his name was suggested to be elevated,” he said.

The panel constituted under the Judges (Inquiry) Act today would go into the 12 acts of alleged misbehaviour by Dinakaran listed in the 55-page impeachment motion moved by MPs. The allegations include possessing wealth disproportionate to 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.

Today,in his interview,the CJI also asserted he was not opposed to demands that his office be brought under the purview of the Right to Information Act. “There is lot of misinformation about this. The media thinks I am against Right to Information. It is not like that,” he said.

First published on: 17-01-2010 at 03:36 IST
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