Notwithstanding the denial by Karnataka Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran, the Collector of Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu has reiterated his finding that the judge is in possession of a total of 199.53 acres of government land which he encroached upon.
(Justice Dinakaran, in an interview to a newspaper, denied the allegations of land encroachment by him or his family members).
In his second report sent to Chief Justice of India (CJI) K.G. Balakrishnan a couple of days ago, the Collector submitted further details to support the district administration’s stand that Justice Dinakaran and his family members had encroached upon government land.
The Collector enclosed a colour map, prepared by the Survey Department, indicating the various types of government land allegedly encroached upon by Justice Dinakaran. The report gave survey numbers of the plots. The Collector sent, besides documents, photographs of the barbed wire fencing put up around the land in question.
According to the report, “The entire lands are found in between and adjacent to patta lands in Kaverirajapuram [village in Tiruttani taluk] in Tiruvallur district.” The Collector said he inadvertently failed to mention in the earlier report about the existence of country fencing around the land.
Meanwhile, enquires reveal, a survey by the Survey of India, an independent agency, sought by the CJI is yet to begin. Following Justice Dinakaran’s denial of the Collector’s earlier report, the Supreme Court collegium headed by the CJI sought the assistance of the Survey of India, which comes under the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology.
The Tamil Nadu government is also yet to respond to the CJI’s request for its views on the Collector’s report.
There are indications that the collegium will take a decision in respect of Justice Dinakaran, whose elevation to the Supreme Court has been put on hold, after receipt of the report from the State government. However, it is not clear whether the collegium will forward the Collector’s second report to Justice Dinakaran for his response.
Lawyers under the auspices of the Forum for Judicial Accountability sent petitions to the CJI levelling serious charges of land grabbing and other “irregularities” against Justice Dinakaran.
It was alleged that at Kaverirajapuram alone “the extent of lands possessed by the judge is approximately 500 acres.” It was alleged that vast extents of government poromboke land, government anadeenam land (abandoned private land), lakes, canals, streams, common village pathways and an ancient mud fortress abutting his patta land were progressively encroached upon.
The villagers were then prevented from accessing these common property resources. The CJI asked the Collector to verify these allegations and send a report.