It is now final. Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court P.D. Dinakaran is being shifted as Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, despite protests by the Sikkim Bar Association. He is facing charges of land-grab.

At its meeting on Wednesday, the Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia, however, declined the government's request to reconsider the recommendations made on April 8 to shift the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, Barin Ghosh, as Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court.

But the collegium — which included Justices Altamas Kabir, R.V. Raveendran, Dalveer Bhandari and D.K. Jain — accepted the government's request to retain the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, Kurian Joseph, in the same court instead of shifting him to the Jharkhand High Court, as originally recommended.

The earlier collegium, headed by the former CJI, K.G. Balakrishnan, recommended that Justice Meenakumari of the Andhra Pradesh High Court be appointed Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. But since Justice Joseph is to be retained in the same court, her elevation has been deferred for now.

The inordinate delay in effecting the transfers was due to a question raised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the desirability of shifting Chief Justices within few months of their taking charge. It was pointed out that while Justice Ghosh took over as Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court in April, Justice Joseph took over as Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court in February. The Law Ministry returned the file to the collegium for consideration afresh.

According to highly placed sources, though the collegium agreed to retain Justice Joseph in the same High Court, it did not yield to the request regarding Justice Ghosh as it would have resulted in a chain of further transfers.

Justice Dinakaran, who has not been performing judicial work for nearly eight months, will perform his duties in the Sikkim High Court. Chief Justice J.S. Khehar of the Uttarakhand High Court will replace Justice Dinakaran in the Karnataka High Court.

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