The legal fraternity in Karnataka on Monday appears divided on the issue of Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran presiding over judicial proceedings in the High Court.
While Advocate-General Ashok Harnahalli and several senior advocates wanted the Chief Justice of India and the Supreme Court collegium to take a decision expeditiously, younger members of the Bar, many on condition of anonymity, said Justice Dinakaran should refrain from chairing court proceedings.
Several advocates said it was sad that he had ignored the September 17 requests of the Advocates Association of Bangalore (AAB) not to sit in court. “What is the value of the association when its resolution can be so easily overlooked,” they asked.
Mr. Harnahalli told The Hindu that as the issue of allegations against Justice Dinakaran was now before the Supreme Court, it would be better to await its decision. He said the issue emphasised need for setting up a mechanism or an in-house system within the judiciary to deal with allegations against judges of higher courts.
On Tamil Nadu sending details of Justice Dinakaran’s land holdings, Mr. Harnahalli said that as the report was before the Supreme Court, he expressed the hope that it would take an expeditious decision.
AAB president K.N. Putte Gowda said it was for members to requisition a general body meeting. He said he stood by the resolutions passed by the association — the first time it called upon Justice Dinakaran to keep off court proceedings and on the second occasion it decided to await the Supreme Court decision.
Meanwhile, a group of advocates staged a silent “satyagraha” in front of the High Court for “cleaning up the judiciary.” They said they would stage a similar protest before the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice sat on a Bench with Justice Mohan Shantangouder and heard matters for about 40 minutes, including an interlocutory application by the State government.